Letter: Do it differently
Power deregulation? First, we passed a law that said we are going to deregulate, then the governor says wait a minute, we don’t want to fall into the situation San Diego is in with high bills. The California situation seems to be a shortage of supply partly because the utilities sold off their power plants like Sierra Pacific Power Co. just sold two more plants to Reliant Energy Power Generation Inc. of Houston for $106 million. Nevada PUC has given them seven rate increases and more on the way. California power companies sold their plants also, so what are we doing differently? The mayor of Elko sent a letter in February to the governor asking to let deregulation go ahead because someone was looking at putting up a power generating plant in the Elko area. Now, they are looking at a plant in Eureka County for a 500 megawatt power plant. This is all pending on electric deregulation so they would be able to market their products in a competitive environment. Natural gas lines into that area could cut heating bills and boost the local economy as well. Last Friday, California’s governor claimed ownership of $300 million of Southern California Edison contracts and Monday $150 million worth of power buying contracts from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. It looks to me like the old shell game all over again. First, it’s lines at the gas pump, then a shortage of toilet paper, sugar, coffee, etc. Do we need excuses? In San Diego, price went from $34 to over $1,000 per megawatt. That’s nothing more than price gouging, and we all know it, but if we don’t allow plants to be built, we are at their mercy.