The PG&E Scam
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
Logging in or registering will improve your experience here
Main Navigation
Full-Text Search & Archives

Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be sent unmodified to lawmakers via print or electronic means or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media, to republish full articles, or for any commercial use (which includes any site where advertising is displayed.)

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.

Considering sending spam? Read this first.

2019-10-09 15:00 by Karl Denninger
in Corruption , 700 references Ignore this thread
The PG&E Scam
[Comments enabled]

Rather than trim trees and fix aging poles and attachments -- with a full year to do it after last year's fire season -- PG&E instead has opted to turn off the power to some 900,000 homes and businesses because there is a high wind issue out in California right now, and it's "fire season" (seasonally low rainfall, and thus dry timber.)

I remind you that I live in a hurricane zone.  Our power companies are well aware that power lines are frequently taken down by these storms, but not due to the storm itself if the lines and poles are properly engineered -- rather, they get toppled by trees and other objects that get thrown into the lines.

There are a lot of lines that get taken down this way; a "bare pole" and wire is not really at much risk from even 100mph winds.  If a tree, on the other hand, fails and gets blown over onto a power line, yeah, that will take it out every time.

Nonetheless they don't proactively shut things off.

Well, in CA they are doing that.  Why?

The utility didn't keep the damn lines clear of things within the fall radius of trees -- and then they compounded the stupidity by having ridiculously dilapidated poles and attachments that would break if you looked at them wrong.

The issue is not that "high winds" will make wires touch each other, which some "news" organizations are running (a deliberate lie, whether they're being fed it by PG&E or some other idiot) -- on a properly-engineered distribution system that is not a factor.  What is a factor are things that happen to be within the fall radius of lines and other transmission equipment, dilapidated equipment that will fall over if you look at it, rights-of-way that are not cleared of highly-combustible material and non-functional (or non-existent) protection equipment that is supposed to detect system imbalances and cut power to downed segments but fails to do so rapidly if at all.

Given a year's warning they did none of the above so now as long as there are high winds "no juice for you!" since the alternative will likely be that PG&E will cause more fires, as they did last year and the year before.

But heh, it's a government monopoly!  Never mind that it's also a so-called "public company" listed on the exchange.  They got their ass sued off (and rightly so) for failing to perform reasonable maintenance in the past and thus being culpable for last year's fires.  Rather than solve the problem this was their response.

Uh huh.

It appears that not even bankruptcy, which they were forced into due to last year's fires and getting tagged for them, was enough to get these guys off their asses with a bunch of saws and other pruning tools.


View with responses (opens new window)