12/15/2019

The Capitol weighs another big, dicey power play

[Deregulation] opened the door to market manipulation by Enron and some other big energy players, drove one major utility (Pacific Gas and Electric) into bankruptcy, almost sent another (Southern California Edison) into insolvency, caused blackouts and wound up costing California consumers many billions of dollars.

This brief excursion into not-so-distant history is important because the current crop of Capitol politicians, including Gov. Jerry Brown, is pushing another big reconfiguration of California’s electric power system.

Newly drafted legislation would integrate California’s grid with those of other Western states and perhaps cede operational authority from a politically accountable agency, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to a new regional agency dominated by the power industry.

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