As a victim of PG&E’s rolling blackouts this week, I have had the opportunity to suffer its impact while being drawn into discussion with neighbors and friends. Yesterday, as a group of us neighborly strangers gathered in Jillie’s Wine Bar, San Anselmo, trapped by the viciously gridlocked Sir Francis Drake Blvd., tasting Spain, we all weighed in on our thoughts: “G-d forbid – what would we do if there was an actual fire, we would be trapped!” “Buy an electric bike,” “How sad a life where one cannot trust those upon whom we depend.” And so on… I can safely say the common denominator was mistrust, uncertainty, fear and anger! How did it come to this?
And so I share this…. by Greg Palast, who before turning to journalism, was an expert on power company regulation.
PG&E Blackout is Blackmail
By Greg Palast
The PG&E Blackout Con is all about threatening the judge in the PG&E bankruptcy case. The victims have joined with the bondholders to eliminate the equity of the stockholders who deserve nothing. So in desperation, the power company pigs are turning off your lights. Hopefully, the judge will not be intimidated.
Leaving hospitals, schools and 1 million homes without power — and that means without water — in California is the endgame of deregulation mania.
Jerry Brown, Bill Clinton and other deregulation snake-oil salesmen, and the PG&E greedster bosses, should be imprisoned for the people already burned to death.
Where is the California utility commission?
I’ve written a book published by the United Nations called, Democracy and Regulation, about how to avoid such piggery. When I wrote the book, it was meant only for Third World nations — apparently, Northern California is the third world of electricity.
Public utilities must be publicly owned. Decades back, I investigated power company racketeering for the Justice Department.
As an expert, I can tell you, PG&E is a criminal enterprise parading as a power company. Shut them down — not us!
Palast, a Puffin Foundation fellow in investigative reporting, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,now a feature documentary. www.GregPalast.com
So friends, weigh in – tell me what you think? Would you characterize this event in the same way? According to PG&E shutting us down as a preventive measure wildfire safety and shutting us down in these Diablo Winds (which I have yet to notice) is an imperative! Apparently 800,000 people were threatened with a shut down this past week, while tens of thousands of PG&E customers were either actually shut down or told that an unknown power outage event occurred.
( I am not sure that the number was in fact and reality 1 million as suggested by Palast. This may be a gross misrepresentation and we will update on the numbers when released.)
Updated 1.20 PM same day: Here are the numbers as reported by PG&E