Friday, July 30, 2004

Kerry Energy Proposal Coming Soon

During last night's convention speech, John Kerry proposed reducing America's dependence on foreign oil...and that was about it as far as energy issues are concerned. BusinessWeek has a preview of the Kerry Energy plan, with some interesting specifics:

  • Increase fuel efficiency--incentives first, regulations later
  • Push for alternatives to oil, such as ethanol (Iowa is a swing state!)
  • Encourage new Liquified Natural Gas ports

Is that enough to make the U.S. energy-independent enough that his remarks alienating the House of Saud won't matter. Doubtful.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Energy Crisis Impacts on the Economy: Changes since 2001

While much has changed since the California Energy crisis in 2001, much hasn't.

On the plus side, the market system in place now prevents price-spikes on days like those we've had recently when demand is abutting the available supply:

Spot market power was selling for roughly $70 a megawatt-hour through much of California - a little more than usual, but a bargain compared with much of 2000 and 2001, when prices were $300 or more and occasionally topped $1,000. Utility officials say the state was burning through $1 billion a week at times.

However, these benefits are thanks in part to broader policies which could negatively impact the State's economy. In order to conserve power and prevent blackouts, many companies will be required to cut back on their own consumption:

"...businesses and others on the voluntary power-reduction plan expect they'll have to pull the plug at least once more this summer, said Terry Rich, executive vice president of Ancillary Services Coalition, which helps companies manage their power-interruption plans.

"But everybody is sitting out there with their fingers crossed," he said, "hoping they don't get called."

Shutting down business operations probably has a greater impact on the economy and a business than the savings they realize from being on the voluntary power-reduction program, yet when many business owners entered the system, rolling blackouts were not in the California lexicon.

Report from the OC: Gas Prices Falling!!!

Whenever gas prices cross a major threshold, like, say $2 a gallon, the media goes into hysterics over the rising prices and its impacts on consumers. In many ways it was refreshing to see this headline in the Orange County Register:

Gas prices dip below $2 in parts of O.C.
A gallon can be found for $1.97; prices fall an 8th straight week

Monday, July 26, 2004

Fresno explores green waste energy

Showing leadership in clean energy, Fresno is exploring a program to turn bio-waste into power(reg. req.):

A private technology developer in North Carolina asks: Why not stop spending money and start using these wastes to make clean energy -- hydrogen?

"Fresno could make hydrogen to produce electricity," said Dennis McGee, founder and chief executive officer of Enviro-Tech Enterprises Inc. "You would have an energy supply that would actually improve the environment."

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a research arm of the Department of Energy, adds that Fresno could become a model for the rest of the country.

"Now is the time, and this is the place," said Bob Evans, senior scientist at the lab. "The wastewater treatment site in Fresno is a great place to do this."

The Fresno Public Works Department scheduled time Tuesday to briefly describe to the City Council a strategy to build Fresno into a national center for clean-energy technology, such as hydrogen, biogas and solar power. Enviro-Tech's ideas fit into that strategy, officials say.

Although it might not appear cost-effective, I would certainly call that killing two birds with one stone.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Energy Crisis Take Two?

Demand for electricity in California is increasing at a faster-than-expected clip, but the power plants commissioned after the Energy Crisis of 2001 are not coming along so swiftly. Together, these two factors could spell trouble later this summer:

While some plants have opened since 2001, and several more are under construction, 13 plants have been put on hold or canceled for lack of investment.

"We need to see some certainty in the market," said spokesman Bill Highlander of Calpine Corp., the San Jose-based power plant developer. He said lack of financing prompted Calpine to put in limbo about 3,600 megawatts worth of proposed new plants. A megawatt is enough power to supply about 750 homes.

Demand is a problem, too, as usage has surpassed expectations.

Instead of the predicted 3.5 percent to 4 percent increase in consumption this year, usage is growing at 6 percent, said ISO spokeswoman Stephanie McCorkle. That's largely a function of population growth and an improving economy, while triple-digit temperatures are causing spikes in demand.

"You really can't test how much electricity demand is out there until you hit a heat wave, and this is our first real heat wave of the summer," said McCorkle. "The appetite for electricity has grown enormously over the past year."

Meanwhile, Detmers said California is burning through "an extensive amount of hydroelectric power." And energy shortages in cities like Phoenix are reducing the amount of imported power available to California, he said.

Experts say the situation will get iffier the next two years as demand mushrooms.

All the more reason we need to start building those LNG Ports!

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Sempra Proposes Indonesian LNG Imports

Among the half-dozen proposals for Liqified Natural Gas (LNG) Ports along the West Coast, Sempra's Baja terminal is on the fastest track. Being in Mexico, the Port is not subject to most of the regulatory entanglement such projects would find themselves in in California.

Sempra is forging ahead and has secured a source for the LNG coming into the port--in Indonesia.

Sempra Energy (SRE) expects to ink a deal with BP PLC (BP) by the end of August to buy some 500 million cubic feet a day of liquefied natural gas for the import facility it's building in Baja California.

The two companies signed a nonbinding agreement for a 20-year supply with index-based pricing in December. The gas will come from the planned Tangguh LNG liquefaction facility in Indonesia, which is being built by a consortium led by BP.

"BP and the Indonesian government have said they want a deal by the end of August, and I see no reason why that shouldn't happen," Sempra President Don Felsinger said Tuesday in an interview.

Cargoes are expected to start arriving at the Costa Azul terminal in Mexico in 2007, when the facility is to become operational. The facility will be able to process 1 billion cubic feet a day.

Of course, Indonesia is a member of OPEC--which means half of the supply coming into the Sempra facility would be subject to that group's oligopolistic practices--and Indonesia is also a hotbed for Muslim terrorists.

Security plans for the Boston convention (Registration Required) have forbidden inbound shipments of LNG tankers because of the security risks and, perhaps, in part because of Dick Clarke's disputed assertion that many of the 9-11 terrorists came into the United States on an LNG tanker from Algeria.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

AGs sue over Electric Generation

This won't help California meet its electric needs:

EIGHT STATES, including California, have joined in a lawsuit seeking to force the nation’s five largest utility companies to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions, in an effort to combat climate change.

It's not like, we're consuming more power than ever before!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Californians Break Energy Consumption Record

Summer suddenly became hot in California over the past few days, and Californians are cranking up the air conditioners--setting a record for energy use on Monday:

Californians set a dubious record Monday: They used more electricity than ever before.

The state's Independent System Operator, which runs the transmission grid, said the record hit at 4:26 p.m. when usage peaked at 44,042 megawatts, beating the 43,609 mark set on July 12, 1999.

The figures cover the state's three investor-owned utilities and don't include entities like the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

At a time when officials have warned that electricity supplies may run thin in the next year or so, the ISO said the record represented good news and bad news. On the one hand, California got through the day without even a whiff of rolling blackouts, unlike three years ago.

Even though the weather has been hot, the story points out, the heat has been moderate in comparison to how it can be--meaning that every kilowatt available should be onlinee if blackouts are to be avoided, and that the State should be aggressively pursuing new energy sources.

UPDATE: Tuesday Broke Monday's Record

UPDATE UPDATE: Another day, another record...

Hybrid Helper Bill faces opposition

Legislation in Sacramento to incentivize Hybrid vehicles by allowing them access to carpool lanes is facing opposition:

In written testimony, the California Assn. of Councils of Government last month called the bill irresponsible and said it "fails to recognize the extent of traffic congestion."

Bay Area transportation officials have raised the strongest objections. They say the measure could scuttle their efforts to encourage more commuters to use express buses, and could cost as much as $2 million a year in lost toll revenue because drivers in some carpool lanes cross toll bridges for free.

Brian D. Taylor, director of UCLA's Institute of Transportation Studies, said the bill was "bad policy" because it would attempt to motivate one goal — energy efficiency — by altering high-occupancy vehicle lanes that were designed to address the different objective of improving traffic flow.

"Why don't we allow nurses and schoolteachers to use HOV lanes? They're certainly doing good things," Taylor said. "Do you want to say, 'We want people to eat more roughage, let's let those people use HOV lanes as well?' Just because there are a lot of benefits of hybrid technology, that doesn't mean there's a logical nexus between that and HOV lanes."

What the bill also ignored is the fact that hybrid's gas mileage improves, counterintuitively, in stop-and-go traffic. Allowing hybrid vehicles to travel at highway speeds will reduce their efficiency and contribution to resource conservation!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Busy Port could face LNG Standstill

In Boston, when Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) tankers arrive, the port is closed for an hour and all operations cease. This could pose a problem if plans come to fruition to build an LNG port in Long Beach, because of the port's integral role in the local economy. Luckily, there are other projects in the works to bring LNG into California that will minimize the impacts on International Trade.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

LNG Projects Bolstered in SoCal

Two Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Port proposals were bolstered this week in Southern California.

In Long Beach, the Mitsubishi-Sound Energy proposal found a partner-in-crime in Conoco:

Sound Energy Solutions plans to partner with gas and oil giant ConocoPhillips to build and operate a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in the Port of Long Beach.

The companies, which announced an informal agreement on Tuesday, have a jointly operated LNG facility in Kenai, Alaska.

The move gives SES a major distribution partner and it puts ConocoPhillips in position to own four LNG facilities in the U.S.

"It's strategically important to us,' said Linsi Crain, a spokeswoman for Houston- based ConocoPhillips, which also operates oil refineries in Wilmington and Carson.

The proposed 27-acre LNG receiving terminal, planned for Pier T at the port, would have the capability of sending out 700 million cubic feet of gas per day. It would be the first such facility on the West Coast. If approved, it would become operational by 2008.

Having an Alaskan source of energy removes one hurdle, but potentially raises another. The Mitsubishi plan is now less reliant on Indonesian sources for its LNG supplies--thereby minimizing terrorism concerns and reliance on OPEC. However, the Jones Act prohibits foreign ships from carrying LNG from one US port to another...and there are currently no US-flagged tankers.

Up the coast in Ventura County, the Australian Cabrilo Port proposal received backing from the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA), which urged Oxnard City Councilmembers to step back before announcing their opposition to the project 22 miles off its coast. The Ventura Star reports, registration required.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Sempra moves to re-make its image

Last week, Sempra Utilities was one of six companies sued by the City and County of San Francisco for market manipulation during the 2000-01 California Energy Crisis:

The lawsuits, filed in San Diego County Superior Court, contend that a group of natural gas producers, marketers, traders, transporters and sellers artificially drove up California's natural gas rates to about six times the national average during the state's energy crisis in 2000-01.

The companies did this, the lawsuits contend, by reporting false sales to trade publications that publish energy price indexes used widely within the industry in writing contracts for longer-term gas sales.

"It is clear that the illegal actions of the gas sellers and traders artificially increased the price of gas for millions of California consumers as well as for public entities like San Francisco," said San Francisco City Atty. Dennis Herrera.

Now, Sempra is seeking to re-make its image in its native San Diego County by pushing an environmentally-friendly energy plan:

By 2010, the utility wants to buy or generate 20 percent of its total electricity consumption from so-called renewable resources, which use wind, green waste, garbage gases, geothermal or solar energy to produce power. Now, less than 6 percent comes from such sources. The plan would expand use of renewable energy much more quickly than a timetable set by state law, which requires California's three regulated utilities to reach the 20 percent goal by 2017.

Why the rush? Utility executives say that renewable energy has suddenly begun to look cheap as the cost of natural gas, the fuel of choice for conventional generators, has skyrocketed during the last two years.

"The price of energy, in general, has been up," utility spokesman Ed Van Herik said Monday. "A diverse fuel mix provides you with hedges from sudden price increases in one type of fuel or another."

Ironically, Sempra's spokesman avoids his own company's culpability in driving up the price of energy!

Gas Prices Falling in California

This is good news for motorists in California:

Gasoline prices in California fell about a penny to $2.193 a gallon in the last week, marking the sixth straight decline and the first dip below $2.20 a gallon since early May, according to a federal survey released Monday.

Unfortunately, the rate of the falling prices has slowed...nonetheless, smaller price drops are better than the alternative!

Conservation cited for Natural Gas Price Fix

Working together, environmentalists and Natrual Gas distributors are asking State Regulators across the country to artificially fix the price of natural gas, under the guise of promoting conservation. The Wall Street Journal reports (registration requored):

"If we do this effectively, we will knock prices down," predicted Ralph Cavanagh, an energy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The NRDC's plan, worked out with officials of the American Gas Association, would, for the first time, guarantee utilities a return on fixed costs such as repairing pipes and reading meters, insulating them from shrinking profits if consumers use less gas. The change could mean that while consumers would pay more for fixed costs, their fees for gas -- which represent a greater portion of their utility bills -- would decline.

The plan also would partly decouple wholesale natural-gas prices, set by state utility commissions, from the volume of gas a given utility sells. This is the first such joint effort between the two groups.

"What we need is a system to promote energy efficiency," said James DeGraffenreidt, chairman of the AGA's policy-making committee. In most states, utilities that attempt to promote ways to save gas are penalized because a drop in consumption means a drop in their profits, he said. AGA represents 192 gas-distribution utilities that supply gas to 53 million homes and businesses.

Gas prices currently are set by state utility commissions using formulas that take into account a utility's fixed costs and how much gas it sells. The plan, which is based on an Oregon model, would guarantee a return on a utility's fixed costs. If the plan works the way it has in Oregon, causing a 10% drop in natural-gas consumption the first winter, consumers in all 50 states could save as much as $2.7 billion next winter based on the current price of natural gas, the AGA estimates.

Consumer advocates should be skeptical. The bottom line is that consumers will pay more for the infrastructure, and arguably less per unit of natural gas being used. Therefore, consumers who are already conserving natural gas will pay more in the end.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Bakersfield plant subject of FTC Inquiry

The Federal Trade Commission is looking into the Royal Dutch/Shell Group’s proposal to shut down operations of its Balersfield refinery:

The refinery, which Shell says it will shut in October because it’s not economically viable, is one of 13 facilities in California that produce the low-polluting gasoline blend required by state rules. Gasoline inventories in California are tighter than in the rest of the nation.

A U.S. General Accounting Office study released in May found that six oil industry mergers in the late 1990’s lifted U.S. gasoline prices an average of 2 cents a gallon.

“The increased consolidation, which we have found and the General Accounting Office has found and others have found, makes it easier for these companies to engage in anti-competitive behavior,” said Tyson Slocum, research director for Public Citizen, a Washington-based consumer group.

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and members of the state legislature have asked Shell to keep the facility open, saying that lack of competition in the state’s refining business is lifting prices.

It is hard to imagine how a company could be losing money on a refinery with gas prices where they are today...but it is also hard to imagine how a company could profit from losing revenues and market share.

Link via Not Your Father's America

Energy Blame Game: Sound Familiar?

Officials in Athens Greece--home to the Summer Olympics in one month's time--are sounding alot like, well, officials in California three years ago when facing summertime blackouts:

A blackout hit Athens a month before the Olympics, but the government brushed off Monday's hour-long disruption as a glitch and said there was more than enough electricity to power the summer Games.

Trains, trolley buses and the subway system ground to a halt between 1 p.m. (6 a.m. EDT) and 2 p.m., and the city's fire department received more than 500 calls to rescue people trapped in elevators. By evening, power had returned to more than 99 percent of Athens.

The government promised an investigation into the cause of the blackout. Asked by reporters who was to blame, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said: "We have set up a committee to look into the issue."...

Local media speculated that a surge in air conditioner use during a heat wave over the last few days may have triggered the blackout and blamed state electricity utility PPC for mismanaging the network.

But a source in PPC pointed the finger at miscalculations by the Hellenic Transmission System Operator (DESMIE), the agency responsible for maintaining a balance between production and consumption of electricity.

The source said large parts of the network were hit by a domino-like shutdown as DESMIE tried to cope with the high demand for electricity. Officials at DESMIE said they would issue a statement later.

The blackout also disrupted the water supply and stranded trains. Passengers were forced to walk along tracks and walkways to get to the nearest stations.

Olympic officials are confident that their venues will not be impacted--probably because they have set up a separate system--but if the City around them is in darkness, will it matter if they're able to keep time on the 100-meter dash?

Friday, July 09, 2004

Free Parking for Hybrid Cars

The transition to fuel-efficient vehicles has been slow, in part because the economics does not work out. Hybrid cars cost about $3000 more than similar models. If someone drives 12,000 miles a year, this could result in a savings of, maybe, a tank of gas a month--or $300. A Hybrid owner would have to drive for ten years before recovering the cost of the gas-saving technology!

Local governments, however, can incentivize hybrid ownership--and therefore lower demand for gasoline. That is exactly what Los Angeles' Mayor James Hahn is proposing:

Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn wants to free hybrid vehicle drivers from fear of the city's parking enforcement officers by allowing hybrids to park at meters at no cost.

"I think we want to do whatever we can to improve air quality in Los Angeles," said the mayor, adding that he hopes the plan encourages motorists to turn to hybrids.

"I think it will be fun. People will realize they won't have to fish around for those quarters," he said.

Free parking is more than fun...and if you've ever gotten a $35 meter-expired ticket, it is about more than quarters, too...

OF NOTE: LAist notes how visionary Hahn is.

Ken Lay's Indictment: Meaning for California

Former Enron CEO Ken Lay has been indicted--a vindication for Californians who blamed his company, Enron, for the State's Energy crisis. The Sacramento Bee spells this out:

Although the indictment of Lay unsealed Thursday focused on his ties to the accounting scandal that sank Enron Corp., officials in California were quick to recall Enron's role in the state's energy crisis. They said Lay's indictment doesn't bring the story to a satisfactory conclusion.

The criminal charges "will not put money back in the pockets of ratepayers," former Gov. Gray Davis said in an interview.

Enron officials lobbied California officials feverishly in the early and mid-1990s, preaching the virtues of free-market energy and warning that the state's economy would stagnate if it clung to the traditional, regulated electricity system. "The patient is on the ground bleeding," Lay protege and one-time Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling told the Public Utilities Commission in 1994.

When deregulation came apart in 2000 and 2001, producing rolling blackouts and crushing the state's big utilities with billions of dollars in debts, Lay urged California to stay the course. Deregulation would work, he argued in meetings with California officials.

Odd to say, but Gray Davis is right on. The indictment may make some Californians feel good, but it does nothing to solve the State's energy woes.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Natural Gas Ports under fire

Natural Gas is a key component in California's energy mix. Every day, we use it to heat our water, cook our food and fuel our fireplaces. The environmentally-friendly fuel is also used to generate electricity.

A great product, it is in high demand...and California is trying to figure out how to get more of it. One solution to importing natural gas, however, is facing challenges:

"We don't believe any accident will leave our property," said Thomas Giles, chief executive officer for Sound Energy Solutions, the Mitsubishi subsidiary proposing the Long Beach terminal.

But the possibility of monumental fires and increased reliance on foreign fuels is generating growing opposition to recent proposals to put an LNG terminal at Long Beach and three more off Southern California's coast.

Protests in Eureka and Vallejo already killed terminal proposals in those communities. Malibu's City Council voted to oppose two proposed terminals off its shores.

The California Sierra Club is fighting all the proposals and has joined 26 other environmental groups in urging the state to pursue energy efficiency instead of new energy production.

The environmental coalition plans to voice its concerns in a meeting today with state Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman and Environmental Secretary Terry Tamminen.

Chrisman said at least one terminal should be built in the state, if it can operate safely without harming the environment.

Of course, if safety is the greatest concern, then the natural solution would be to locate an LNG port off-shore, and as far away from residential centers as possible--as is the case with the project being opposed by the Malibu City Council. Reminds us why the term, "Malibu Environmentalist" came about!

FERC Meetings discuss Rebate Disputes

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is hosting some hot debates over refunds from California's 2000-2001 Energy debacle:

For two days last week, the feuding parties met behind closed doors at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission headquarters here to haggle over alleged overcharges — and learn whether the conflict might be shifting into a more flexible phase of deal making rather than accusation flinging.

No breakthroughs were reported from the confidential talks among power sellers, state officials and federal regulators. But that the talks even took place was viewed by some as encouraging.

"For everybody that's got a dog in this fight, it's a positive direction to go," said Jan Smutny-Jones, executive director of the Independent Energy Producers Assn., a Sacramento-based trade group. "It's a very important development."

Recent negotiations have resulted in settlements--rather than court battles--which will help to mitigate the costs of electricity to California's ratepayers.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Texas-to-Phoenix Pipeline could ease California Gas Prices

You may have heard about the butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil leading to a chain of events that precipitates a major storm on the other side of the earth...if you haven't bear with me, because the tale came to mind as I read about how a gas pipeline from Texas to Arizona will reduce gas prices in California. Makes perfect sense.

Expansion of a gasoline pipeline from El Paso to Phoenix might be the fastest way to boost California gas supplies and stabilize prices, an oil economist said yesterday.

Phil Verleger, a senior fellow at the Institute for International Economics and a former energy official in the Ford and Carter administrations, said the pipeline expansion could supply the equivalent of 100,000 barrels of gas daily to the Arizona market, alleviating the need for Arizona to draw from California's gas supply.

In a conference call with reporters, Verleger said a 350-mile expansion of the Longhorn Pipeline could be accomplished within two years, while expansion of refineries in California is at least five years away and conservation efforts will provide only minimal price relief.

Meanwhile, California is waiting to see whether a pipeline from Texas or new port construction will be the preferred solution to meeting our demand for Natural Gas.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

FERC suspends investigation for refund settlement talks

At the request of Governor Schwarzenegger, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has put its investigations into price-gauging during California's 2001 Energy Crisis on hold.

"No one questions the fact that California consumers and businesses were overcharged during those summer months, and I believe they are legally entitled to refunds for that period," Schwarzenegger said.

"Over four years have now passed since the crisis began and despite years of investigation, hearings and litigation, California still has not recovered the vast majority of overcharges incurred during the crisis."

The governor said he hoped the settlement conferences would "set forth a road map for a reasonable and fair resolution" of the issue, which "would be fantastic."

Some legislators, as noted in the San Diego Union Tribune, want even more. However, taking a pause for negotiations could be tied to plans to restructure the system in California all-together. It is better to be in a non-combative situation with the players in the energy market when seeking policy concessions.

Will a settlement stop a future Energy Crisis? At first glance, the two issues are unrelated. Getting refunds is a matter of getting our money back for past grievances. However, that money could be used to mitigate higher wholesale energy prices if supplies dwindle later this summer.

Dry Rainy Season Could Lead to Power Pinch

One of the State's "renewable" energy sources is, of all things, water. In the mountains above Fresno, Southern California Edison and PG&E have complex hydroelectric facilities where rain and snowmelt, combined with gravity, turn nature's forces into electricity for the rest of us. Edison's Big Creek facility, for example, was build to power Los Angeles' Red Car system decades ago, and has become one of their major sources of power since.

Well, things aren't looking so good, as the rainy season in the San Joaquin Valley was among the driest on record.

"It was like summer in March," said Walt Ward, the Modesto Irrigation District's assistant general manager for water operations.

The MID had measured 8.56 inches of rain as of Wednesday, the last day of the rainfall season. Assuming no rain fell through midnight, the season was the driest in 13 years -- about 4 inches below average.

Snowmelt began earlier than anyone at the MID could remember. The runoff, carried in the Tuolumne River, ended up in Don Pedro Reservoir, but the water level did not necessarily go up. The MID and its partner, the Turlock Irrigation District, had to let water out to keep the reservoir's level no higher than 801.9 feet above sea level through April 27.

In this way, the Army Corps of Engineers assures that the reservoir has adequate space for flood protection in the event of spring storms.

"If it (melted) later in the year we could capture more of it," spokeswoman Kate Hora said. "It's an issue of timing."

And that timing may not be so good for California's energy prospects as the dog days of summer approaches. No snowmelt later in the year will mean less water in the reservoirs--and less hydroelectric power for you and me, meaning the State would have to turn to other sources (coal, natural gas, wind) or face brown-outs.

Next up for Governor: Energy Fixes

Governor Schwarzenegger takes one big issue at a time. Cut the Car Tax. Fix the holdover debt from Gray Davis. Fix Worker's Compensation. Pass a State Budget.

After passing a Budget for FY 2004-05, Schearzenegger has said he will set his sights on fixing the Energy situation in the State. See, after the blackouts of 2001, Governor Davis adopted temporary fixes. Since then, relatively little power has come on-line. Electric transmission bottlenecks remain. The State still does not have a reliable and steady way to import natural gas.

The Governor was going to focus his laserlike attention on these issues once the budget passed. Unfortunately, that has been delayed.

In starting this blog, my goal is to bring some sense to the debate--whenever it happens--and sort through the myriad issues we face in powering California's economy.