Millions of People Without Electricity in California

-edited

Widespread power outages leave million of Californians without electric power.

​Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E) has imposed unprecedented shutoffs leaving millions without power.

The shutdowns are safety precaution to prevent wildfires. California Governor Gavin Newsom said the widespread electricity shutdown is “unacceptable.”

“We’re seeing a scale and scope of something that no state in the 21st century should experience,” Newsom said. “What’s happened is unacceptable and it’s happened because of neglect.”

The remarks were the most pointed comments Newsom has directed at PG&E since the outages began early on Wednesday. Among the questions he raised was whether the utility is too large, with a service area covering more than 40 counties.

He also faulted PG&E for putting what he called “greed” ahead of investments.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing potential civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion from major wildfires linked to its transmission wires and other equipment.

PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson acknowledged that his company had left “millions of people” without a “fundamental service” they expect and deserve.

“This is not how we want to serve you,” he told a media briefing in San Francisco, adding that PG&E “was not adequately prepared” for such a large power outage.

“Northern California is not a Third World country,” the San Jose Mercury Statesman said in an editorial. “It’s unacceptable that the region is being forced to endure this level of disruption as the long-term strategy for dealing with the threat of wildfires.”

Red Flag Alert

The National Weather Service has a "Red Flag Fire Alert" for the hot dry "Diablo Winds" that seasonally occur this time of year.

Food spoilage will be massive due to the shutdowns.

Fire in 2017 killed scores of people and the now bankrupt PG&E does not want a repeat.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (65)
No. 1-26
Stuki
Stuki

"PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing potential civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion ...."

Na..... Who would have thought? Ambulance chasers shaking people down is the cultprit!!! What a surprise!!!

Heck, it's California! Of course ensuring slimy ambulance chasers on the make, can get their hands on billions which other people had to work for, take precedence over something as irrelevant as letting people have electricity!

Runner Dan
Runner Dan

"“Northern California is not a Third World country,” the San Jose Mercury Statesman said in an editorial..."

San Jose may not be, but I've heard San Francisco sure looks like one!

Yancey_Ward
Yancey_Ward

Californuzuela.

abend237-04
abend237-04

There are two main causes of the fires here: 1.An extended drought that has killed millions of trees. 2.An extended period of planning idiocy which has resulted in the building of entire towns, like Paradise which burned, in ancient firestorm paths. For countless millions of years, the fires cleared underbrush when the hot, dry Santa Ana winds blew. Now, the winds drive fires that clear million dollar homes. Newsome, our idiot leftist governor fresh out of San Francisco, has a cosmic scale need for a scapegoat and he has found it in PG&E, one of the two main utilities here. The real mystery to me is why anyone is stupid enough to buy a California utility's stock or bond, or why the tens of thousands of honest, hardworking employees continue to work there. The ambulance chasers have discovered that, when 70 mph winds drive brush into 200,000 volt power lines, fires result. The utilities have discovered that turning off the power to millions when the winds kick up saves them from bankruptcy, but still generates a hell of a lot of heat. And you thought Chicago was full of idiots, Mish...not even close.

magoomba
magoomba

Best of all, HOARDS of Tarantulas and creepy crawlies are bursting out of the ground in the affected areas. They are hungry, like to eat people and pets, and LOVE to hunt in the DARK! Sweet Dreams!

Country Bob
Country Bob

@Runner Dan "“Northern California is not a Third World country,” the San Jose Mercury Statesman said in an editorial..."

CA has got homelessness, garbage, rats, used needles, and medieval diseases...

CA has debts up over its head, corrupt politicians, and an endless stream of illegal aliens who's first act upon entering the country was by definition: breaking the law

CA relies on other states to provide water, electricity and crude oil / energy. CA makes its money from IPOs; selling money losing companies as though they were viable. CA relies on massive federal subsidies from military bases and military contractors

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and floats like a duck... CA is a third world country

Rbm
Rbm

Well just got power back. Not to bad. Glad to have the freezer up. I hear pge reported good profits for yrs. my observation lots of unmaintained lines is how they did it. Leaning trees branches etc. funny my weather app has the red flag warning (gust 25 to 40) temps low humidty etc. then the regular forcast was like 75 with 5-10 mph wind. Humidty did drop into the teens for a bit today. They shut the next county over down a few weeks ago. Same same. Seem pretty calm. Pge gets sued for leaving the power on and ive seen commercials wanting to sue for cutting it off.
I wonder was this a non event, practice for the real deal, or is pge trying to so is they have by the short and curlies. Rates are up. Remember this is the state where they were exporting power only to import it back at a profit.
I will be upset if fri temps are higher winds are the same and there is no red flag and we have power.

Country Bob
Country Bob

And naturally, with their home state in the dark -- in more ways than one -- Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters are focused like laser beams on causing problems for the rest of the country

Country Bob
Country Bob

More laughs from California

Thousands of morons... um Californians... are learning that their solar panels are useless when the grid goes down. They wired their solar panels into the grid (to save on power bills), but not into battery banks (which if made by Tesla tend to burst into flames faster than a PGE power line anyway).

Millions of $$$ spent on political grand standing, and it doesn't even help them when the power goes out. Typical California

Gasoline prices have gone above $5/gallon around LA, as thousands of Maxine Waters supporters buy gas for generators

Latkes
Latkes

High crime rate, terrible healthcare and now scheduled power outages. The US is turning into a sh*thole country.

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

MISH better move out of Sillinois before people leaving Taxifornia buy the house he wants.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Cities should start running their own power companies. My city between the outage zones didnt lose power because the city manages it's own power generation. It costs about 30% less per kwh than PG&E and lines are buried.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Btw it's not unreasonable that power is shutoff in a high wind environment. Power gets shutoff routinely before ice storms and hurricanes elsewhere in America. Truthfully the terrain of California cant support old power lines in high winds anymore. Fires,floods, tornadoes and hurricanes are the natural part of the earth renewing itself.

sangell
sangell

Looks like Caiiornia has joined the tyranny of the National Weather Service. People in Florida and the GoM have long been victimized by meteorologists and their forecasts. Hurricane Dorian was forecast to devastate Florida so people had to prepare. In the event it never touched Florida but vacations were cancelled, stores boarded up and evacuations begun. Hurricanes can't be fought but a billion or so dollars spent on more fire fighting equipment to stop them before they get out of control might be a better solution that turning off the power statewide.

thimk
thimk

it's no fun being without juice for your home , living in Florida for many years i can speak from experience. I wish the calys well. even California's massive install of solar panels were useless.

KidHorn
KidHorn

I don't blame PG&E. It's asinine to blame the fires on them. Everyone in California that had their house burn knew it was a risk. Yet they chose to live their. Where I live, if the power goes out after a big storm, everyone blames the power company. And they also complain about the way their tree looks after the power company guts it because someone decided it was a good idea to plant a tree under the power lines.

PG&E should permanently shut down the power until they can be exempted from blame for fires.

avidremainer
avidremainer

If California declared independence it would become the 5th largest economy in the world. It seems to me that for this state of affairs to happen there must be monumental management incompetence in play. Whoever is in charge, both politicians and company management should be sacked for being culpably incompetent.

WarpartySerf
WarpartySerf

Here in Western North Carolina, Duke Plower has the same contempt for the consumer. They refuse to trim their monopoly "right of way", and just let the tree limbs fall, and then repair them (WAY more profitable!).

Then they tell the consumers on their text messages : "The power outage was caused by tree limbs falling on the lines". Right

Zardoz
Zardoz

These flyoverlander tantrums are hilarious!

ksdude69
ksdude69

Mostly money related im sure. If they were raking it in, didnt have lawsuits etc theyd gladly burn the entire state down. Not that I would care lol. I guess I shouldn't say that there's a lot of good people in CA but they are beholden to an idotic, bankrupt govt. Like anywhere, politicians will drive everyone off a cliff to keep the paycheck rolling in.

RonJ
RonJ

"The shutdowns are safety precaution to prevent wildfires. California Governor Gavin Newsom said the widespread electricity shutdown is “unacceptable.”"

I'm thinking that last year it was unacceptable for a live downed PG&E power line to burn down the town of Paradise.

SleemoG
SleemoG

California is the worst. That's why 40 million people live here. Please stay away.

Our 80 degree January weather is too much to handle for most people.

It can also be very confusing having to choose between going to the beach, mountains, desert or world-class cities like LA and San Diego on any day of the year without giving a thought to the weather.

California is just utter crap. Why did I ever move here 30 years ago? Most miserable 30 years of my life, and I lived for 20 in that paradise called New Jersey!

Greggg
Greggg

An aging infrastructure supporting all that green energy and just when the wind farms can produce the most power, they have to shut down operations to prevent fires in corridors they have allowed to over grow for years.

Webej
Webej

PG&E is simpley unloading the costs of running a grid on the customers. (externalities)

How come we never have this stuff in Europe, where power is orders of magnitude more dependable than in the USA? I am tempted to say that it's because the grid and energy utilites are not privatized companies, except they are nowadays.

It must be that the wind is more dependable ...

yisoo
yisoo

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