Gray Davis spins onwardgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Wild Wild West : One Thread
For all his squawking, Gov. Gray Davis has been unable to provide convincing evidence that the state's prolonged energy crisis resulted from some grand conspiracy hatched in Texas to rip off California. A federal regulatory judge is the latest to reject Davis' incessant attempt to pass the blame. Curtis Wagner, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's chief administration law judge, has slapped down Davis' claim for $8.9 billion worth of refunds for alleged energy overcharges, saying California deserves no more than $1 billion, probably less.
And seeing that the state already owes more than that to energy suppliers, it's a wash. Sacramento probably won't get back any of the taxpayer money it's squandered this year.
For the past few months, Davis has mounted a PR blitz against energy providers, declaring "war" over their alleged price-gouging and attempts to "bleed us dry."
But after reviewing the evidence, Judge Wagner was unable to find the widespread collusion or illegality that Davis has charged. In fact, the one piece of evidence that Davis has produced with much fanfare blew up in his face when state energy officials refuted his charges that a San Diego power plant was shut down to manipulate energy supply and drive up prices.
So much for scapegoats.
Not that Davis will give up that easily. The governor plans to push ahead with his claims in court -- this time asking for as much as $20 billion.
The result will probably be the same, and in the end the state -- meaning its taxpayers and ratepayers -- will merely be out yet more money in court and legal fees, with its energy problems no closer to resolution.
But resolving the energy crisis has never been much of a concern for Davis, who makes his own political reputation his top priority.
He admitted as much in March, when he quipped that if "I wanted to raise rates, I could have solved this problem in 20 minutes."
But raising rates early on could have undercut Davis' poll numbers, so it didn't happen.
Ditto for another plan that would have reined in prices early -- refusing to pay energy producers' exorbitant rates. That might have caused some rolling blackouts, but with a little planning, they would have been manageable, and producers would have learned that they can't simply charge whatever price they like.
But Davis has been unwilling to make any difficult decisions, and with the state's taxpayers' and ratepayers' billions at his disposal, he hasn't had to. The crisis has continued indefinitely, and the state's energy tab this year is headed to rise to some $55 billion -- eight times the cost two years ago.
As much as he's tried to point fingers, the FERC ruling is yet another reminder that Davis might have inherited a bad deregulation plan and a tough energy market, but this protracted crisis was very much his own creation.
Davis has rightly complained that energy suppliers "don't have the best interest of California at heart," but looking out for California isn't their job. It's his -- and he's not doing it.
-- libs are idiots (email@example.com), July 11, 2001
Davis tops the list of idiots.
-- You (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 11, 2001.