Are the squirrels running the nuthouse in California?

The saga of last year’s devastating fires in California continues. California electric companies are intentionally cutting power to large portions of the state to reduce risk of fires that wiped out whole cities last year. Here is a link with current maps of the outages:

PG&E, a large utility in northern California, filed for bankruptcy as result of liability from the fires, and it is shutting down a large portion of its grid in response to forecasts of warm, dry, windy weather conditions:

Of course power outages kill people as well. Spoiled food, carbon monoxide poisoning from generators, lack of refrigeration for medicines, lack of air-conditioning, etc. increase the risk of death, especially for people with chronic medical conditions. It is entirely possible that a retrospective analysis of death rates will show that the power outages will kill more people than the fires did.

In the mean time, the politicians blame the fires on global warming. Changes in forestry management that have allow large amounts of fuel to accumulate are ignored.

Likewise inadequate building codes resulted in fires spreading by embers from house to house while leaving trees still standing, which was discussed in an earlier thread:

Ironically, several California cities are banning new natural gas connections to force all-electric homes that are even more vulnerable to power outages. The rationale is that the switch to more wind and solar power generation means that electricity now has lower carbon emissions than natural gas.

What liability should the power company have as result of intentionally cutting power?

Does California need to change it forestry policies and strengthen building codes to reduce fire dangers?

Does government mandates for all-electric homes increase the potential damages from power outages instead of mitigating them?

Are the squirrels running the nuthouse in California?

Don’t insult squirrels by comparing them to California politicians! :wink:

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I am in CA, and had no power today from late last night, til about 3pm.

The blame can be spread around.

Building codes, or where we build.

For profit electric companies, who answer to share holders.
All natural monopolies should be non-profit, or locally ran by cities, counties or the state. Not keeping up with maintenance or updating infrastructure may make the bottom line look good…but there are consequences.

Cutting the power was for safety reasons. They need to give more notice, and/or have something in place to help those that have medicines that need refrigerated.

And yes, global warming is a factor as well. Our fire season has gotten much worse over the last several years.


Politicians are not the main cause.

Full house in Minneapolis for the Trump rally. :+1::grin:

Lots of police officers wearing Trump tee shirts.

Shouldn’t this be in a thread about Minneapolis rather than in a thread about California?

PG&E are between a rock and a hard place, I would think. They were sued to bankruptcy because high winds helped trigger the fires…so now they cut power to try to prevent fires and they’re getting blamed for that, too.

Because government monopolies would be so interested in their customers. We saw that in Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union.


Last time they were rolling blackouts in California it was due to Enron creating an artificial shortage. Although when the blackouts were happening there were a huge list of excuses that people were making. I’m gonna wait to see what the actual cause is this time.

So sorry if I’m a little skeptical.

Those Santa Ana winds are awful in California.

I thought arsonists have been a big part of the problem.

So local water companies, are now communist Soviet union?
Good gawd.


If they were a big part of the problem, PG&E would not have done what they did.
They were sued for their equipment being the cause of some of the biggest fires.

Arson can be a cause, and has been a cause. But is not the major cause.

The structure and ownership of the electrical grid varies wildly by area and history.

Both at my home in Pennsylvania and my new place in North Carolina, I am a member of an Electric Cooperative. In Pennsylvania, the primary provider is Penelec while North Carolina it is Duke Energy. But the distribution network is owned by the cooperatives.

In the long run, PG&E could sell its distribution network to local cooperatives and from then forward, it would be the cooperatives decision, rather than PG&E, whether to shut off power to specific areas in crisis situations.

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It was reported in a huge fire or two last year. Probably a bigger cause than “global warming” imo.

Yes, the only thing worse than a government-run utility is a for-profit government-enforced monopoly that expends its effort in gaming the regulations to maximize profits. California is certainly not alone in problems with utilities, but somehow they seem to have hit the jackpot. They have succeeded in creating a utility grid that is exceptionally good at starting massive wildfires. They also have policies that have lead to a massive accumulation of deadwood and other fuel for wildfires and building codes that can create urban fire storms.

Rather than address these problems, the politicians are blaming global warming and banning natural gas connections. Even if you accept that global warming a contributor to the problem, the effect of California eliminating its carbon would have no measurable effect on the fire risk, and eliminating natural gas further aggravates the effects of power outages.

This really is a case of the squirrels running the nuthouse.

Well, since you do not believe human caused climate change is real, this is really not a surprise.

Do you understand what a natural monopoly is?

Not what he said, is it?

Why do you feel the need to distort the words of another poster?

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Warming and cooling cycles are natural and real. Man made warming? Not so much.

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Arson was not the cause of the Camp Fire. It was PG&E’s fault. A friend of mine had just moved up there earlier that year. He lost everything. He had 20 minutes to evacuate. He traveled, so he had treasures from other countries.

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