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California’s PG&E Out-Blackmails New Jersey’s PSE&G

Climate Chaos Meets Corporate Blackmail In California

One again, we are reaping the whirlwind of deregulation

Climate Chaos Meets PG&E

Climate Chaos Meets PG&E – near Pescadoro, Ca.

[See Update below about a PSE&G Corporate Murder In Newark, New Jersey]

My NJ friends know all about corporate blackmail, as NJ’s PSE&G blackmailed the State Legislature and BPU by threatening to create chaos in energy markets by abruptly closing down 3 nuke plans unless they were given a billion dollar bailout.

(Meanwhile, California is phasing out nukes, which is something NJ Senate President Sweeney and NJ US Senator Booker worked hard to stop, when they teamed up to support nuke subsidies).

Following that PSE&G Blackmail model, now, the Wall Street backed corporate NJ solar sector (and soon wind) is threatening to leave the state if they are not provided adequate “subsidies” (i.e. “profits”).

As I’ve written, that’s why we have to have public ownership of “public utilities” (from Bernie Sanders’ “Green New Deal”)

Screen Shot 2019-10-09 at 10.04.34 AM

So, it will come as no surprise that California – the land of Enron corruption –  is now going through a similar corporate blackmail shakedown, as the State’s public utility PG&E shut down power for approximately 2 million people to avoid wildfires. (Sanders “Green new Deal)

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I’ve been in the belly of this California Wildfire – Climate Chaos – PG&E beast for the last weeks, as I’ve travelled down the northern California Coast and inland to Sonoma County.

The conditions are extremely dry.

Conditions very dry - London Ranch, Glen Ellen, Sonoma County

Conditions very dry – London Ranch, Glen Ellen, Sonoma County

I’ve been living the power shutdown s for the last few days. It was chaos. I stopped driving for a few days to make sure I could get gas. The grocery store in Half Moon Bay was almost out of food – it looked like locusts descended on the place. And the power outages are not limited to northern Cali – I’m just north of Santa Cruz (Davenport) and they were blacked out too.

My coastal campsite just south of San Gregorio was besieged by PG&E trucks, as I found myself surrounded and in their staging operation.

The Green New Deal will bring us public power - no more corporate blackmail

The Green New Deal will bring us public power – no more corporate blackmail

The California media has been all over this story all week – Gov. Newsome has made some harsh criticism about PG&E greed – and today the NY Times finally reports what amounts to a “failure to communicate” story.

But, of course, Greg Pallast gets the real story:

PG&E is a Crime Wave, Not a Power Company

Blackout is Blackmail
The PG&E Blackout Con is all about threatening the judge in the PG&E bankruptcy case. The victims have joined with the bondholders to eliminate the equity of the stockholders who deserve nothing. So in desperation, the power company pigs are turning off your lights. Hopefully, the judge will not be intimidated.
Leaving hospitals, schools and 1 million homes without power — and that means without water — in California is the endgame of deregulation mania.
Jerry Brown, Bill Clinton and other deregulation snake-oil salesmen, and the PG&E greedster bosses, should be imprisoned for the people already burned to death.
Where is the California utility commission?

PG&E is protecting the financial assets of investors from further wildfire liability – to hell with the rest of us.

[Update 10/13/19 – Lee Fang at The Intercept nails it.]

Pallast argues that for years, PG&E received billions of dollars in ratepayer money for system maintenance and upgrades – yet their system is still unsafe – so they either did a very bad job or failed to make them and instead diverting those revenues to excessive compare managers salaries, profits and investor dividends.

The same game is being played by Con Ed in NY with a moratorium on gas connections, as they blackmail NY Gov. Cuomo and NY regulators for killing gas pipelines

It is corporate hardball.

Greetings from the state where Enron blackmail worked so well.

[Update – A reader, @GreenStreet, Tweeted at me to provide a story about a man who was killed by the PG&E shutoff.

That reminded me of a NJ PSE&G murder of a poor black woman for not paying her electric bill. For details, see:

While PG&E is also guilty of murder, at least that had a plausible reason: to prevent deadly wildfires.

In NJ PSE&G murder, there was not even a plausible rationale: it was pure corporate greed and sociopathic bureaucracy.  ~~~ end update]

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