by Katy Grimes
As Appearing in the California Globe
The real goal appears to be controlling the state’s energy and renewable energy mandates
“Exactly one year after PG&E Corp. filed for bankruptcy, Gov. Gavin Newsom said PG&E ‘no longer exists’ and doubled down on a state takeover if the utility doesn’t shape up by June 30,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The California mega-utility Pacific Gas & Electric filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy reorganization one year ago on January 29, 2019, which makes it curious how Governor Gavin Newsom continues to publicly threaten that if PG&E doesn’t do what he wants, the state may just take over the utility.
California Globe asked Tom Tanton, Director of Science and Technology for the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, to weigh in on the governor’s threat to take over the giant utility.
Governor Newsom has floated the idea of state takeover of Pacific Gas and Electric in response to the Company’s bankruptcy and consumer outrage in light of Public Safety Power Shutoffs,” Tanton said. “I trust the Governor recalls what happened to Grey Davis when HE tried government control of the essential service of electricity. While some conditions are different today, the similarities are eerie as well. There were folks involved in the 2000 energy debacle that actually thought, after things went south with skyrocketing prices and blackouts, that state takeover would be ideal. Remember the California Power Authority? They signed long term (and short term) contracts way above market, leading to higher ultimate costs…to the tune of $30 billion. Some also forget that government utilities (primarily large municipals in Southern California) were equally culpable as the Investor Owned Utilities and independent generators and marketers in driving the nascent market over the cliff. Government failure is just as likely as market failure…