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CA. Gov. Newsom Wants Billionaire Warren Buffett to Buy PG&E as State’s Blackouts Continue

CA. Gov. Newsom Wants Billionaire Warren Buffett to Buy PG&E as State’s Blackouts Continue

Capitalism solving socialism’s many problems.

Wildfires and blackouts continue to plague California. Among the most serious of these blazes is the Getty Fire, which broke out close to the famed museum and has forced the evacuation of thousands.

The Getty fire broke out shortly after 1:30 a.m. along the 405 Freeway near the Getty Center and spread to the south and west, rapidly burning more than 600 acres and sending people fleeing from their homes in the dark. About 10,000 structures have been placed under mandatory evacuation orders.

Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas said that, despite firefighters’ efforts, at least eight homes, including some on Tigertail Road, had been destroyed in the blaze. Five others were damaged. Some homes that were destroyed were adjacent to properties that didn’t sustain any damage, he said.

“They were literally overwhelmed,” Terrazas said of crews fighting the fire within neighborhoods. “They had to make some tough decisions on which houses they were able to protect. Many times, it depends upon where the ember lands.”

Meanwhile, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has started shutting off power to thousands of residents in Marin County, north of San Francisco, even before expected restorations of power from a previous shut-off had been completed.

Virtually all customers of the wealthier suburb on the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge lost power 26 October as part of planned blackouts by PG&E to prevent the fires. The county has about 260,000 people, and some have been without power since Saturday afternoon.

PG&E spokeswoman Deanna Contreras said the new round of shut-offs started around 8am Tuesday, earlier than estimated because of weather and “impacts on our transmission system” from a fire in wine country.

The PG&E power shut-offs Tuesday are the third in a week and the fourth in one month.

PG&E stock is sinking rapidly. But, no worries! California Governor Gavin Newsom has a solution.

…Gov. Gavin Newsom encouraged billionaire investor Warren Buffett to buy the troubled utility, which has been linked to the 60,000-plus-acre fire burning in Sonoma County. The fire originated near a company transmission tower that experienced a malfunction.

Newsom wants Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate to make a bid for PG&E, but Buffett has so far been silent about the proposal.

PG&E Corp. was recently stripped of its right to exclusively pitch a reorganization plan in bankruptcy court, which has led to complications.

Holders of its stock control it now. Holders of its bond debt seek to take control.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co. hadn’t responded as of Sunday, but there is a relationship.

Berkshire owns:

  • PacifiCorp, the largest grid owner and operator in the West. Gov. Jerry Brown had pushed to create a Western regional grid tying California to several states, but that stalled.
  • Pacific Power, which serves customers in Oregon, Washington and far Northern California.
  • Kern River Gas Transmission Company, which has a pipeline connecting Rocky Mountain natural gas-producing basins and Western markets.

Berkshire’s holdings also include coal. Though Berkshire says it intends to “retire” its coal plants by 2038, California law all but prohibits the importation of coal-powered electricity.

Newsom is at least proposing a tried-and-true fix: Capitalism solving socialism’s many problems.


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I can’t imagine Buffet would be interested without an major upfront capital investment by taxpayers to pay for equipment and powerline upgrades. And then there are all the new lawsuits heading their way. Is this going to be like Plains All-American getting sued with criminal charges by CA for a pipeline leak in Porter Ranch two months after they acquired a local company?

Newsome needs to break up PG&E and work out a deal with the various municipalities to take them over. This is going to cost the state bigly no matter which option he takes.

    Tom Servo in reply to Pasadena Phil. | October 31, 2019 at 9:16 am

    The real problem is that PG& E has liabilities of $40 billion (or is it $80 billion? or $100 billion? no one knows) in deferred maintenance and mandatory upgrades. Anyone who takes them over takes over that cost – that’s why the State won’t even take them over, they don’t have the money. No one has the money. and most of the costs are needed in rural areas, which means if Municipalities take over parts of the system, rural areas will be shut out with no power provider at all.

    I feel sorry that so many people in rural areas are conservative. There were a lot of “good Germans” in Dresden when it burned, and a lot of innocent and blameless Japanese in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Their innocence didn’t change their fate.

    California is going down hard, and so is everyone who continues to live there, no matter what their political ideology is. It’s past the point of saving.

You couldn’t give PG&E away to an idiot, even Al-Gore is not that dumb. I hope.

Buffet would have to be dumber than a sack of rocks to dump his hard-fought billions into this giant burning trash pile, EVEN if California promised him everything he could possibly ask for. After all, even if God smiled on his investment, he struck gold, then oil, found a way to turn smog into gasoline, won the lottery without buying a ticket, and was appointed pope, California politicians would see all that delicious money out there and work night and day to capture it.

I am a little person and I feel like me and my fellow Californians are just pawns in some high stakes game between politicians and big business.

I returned Monday from visiting Eureka CA over the weekend. Driving down 101, the main and only road through the western edge of the state I drove four hours (FOUR HOURS!!) and over 200 miles before I reached an area with electrical power in south Santa Rosa. Most areas had been without power since Saturday. I passed closed shops, empty parking lots, grid-locked roads (from signals turned to 4-way stops) and lines of cars at unopened gas stations saving their place in line when power returned. Though you probably won’t hear about it in the news there are now shortages of certain foods up in Humboldt county as residents ask each other online where they can find fresh milk and meat. Appalling that one of the most prosperous areas in the world voluntarily reduced millions of its residents to darkened third world conditions.

I don’t care what one’s ideology is now – everyone I know is furious with both Gavin Newsom and PG&E.

    OnPoint in reply to B Buchanan. | October 30, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    My response to everyone who is angry is, “Did you vote for the Democrats? Then why are you surprised?” Newsom wants to slither out of taking responsibility but California power has been a train wreck since before Gov. Gray Davis was recalled over the fiasco decades ago. And it’s all the Democrats’ fault. And people who voted for these idiots need to understand that. Simply, if you voted for Democrats, this is what you get.

      B Buchanan in reply to OnPoint. | October 30, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      I NEVER voted for Democratic leadership!! NEVER!! I can’t explain the crazy liberals in the SF Bay Area, LA Basin and Sacramento who vote as they do. There are still millions of conservatives in this state of 40 million residents – we are out numbered and (with ballot harvesting and jungle primaries) out-maneuvered.

        The Fed is author of many these problems.

        Our problems were forced on us via environmentalist lawfare more than three decades ago. And the USFS adopted the new regulations. And after the USFS adopted those regulations they lost money via timber sales. Sawmills died. So things degraded. They stopped using cheap labor to clear brush. They gated old logging access roads. It goes on and on.

        The left infiltrated the USFS, hollowed it out, and now use the agency to us deny access or make it unpleasant to visit rural sites. The idiocy of allowing problem bears to remain in Yosemite valley? Thanks a lot Ranger Mao!

        I’ve pointed this out hundreds of times but people are so fixed on blaming CA for everything wrong with their states that I have given up. I’ll give you the short version. Again.

        You can only vote for what is on the ballot. For most of the 30 years that I’ve lived here, Californians always voted for the GOP platform. When it was on the ballot. Over time, the courts became more involved in overturning propositions and voters lost influence. But the GOP issues still carried elections. Then the recall election happened.

        That event witnessed the usurpation by the Bush/Rove crowd of the CA State GOP Committee who turned the party around 180 degrees. Voters, inflamed by Gray Davis’ huge increase of the automobile license fees swept Arnold Schwartzenegger into office, the last Republican elected to statewide office. So 2012 became the first year the state had no Republican statewide officials since 1932.

        The GOP had completely abandoned ship and surrendered to the Dems. Without a State Committee, they gave up. Since then, it’s been a one-party state and voters have now given up. Even if there is something on the ballot to vote for, the courts will reverse the vote if it doesn’t go the “right” way.

        Moral of the story: CA voters didn’t destroy CA. We never voted for what we are. The GOP (Bush/Rove from TEXAS!) was mostly to blame. And no matter where you live, the same is happening there. It’s not the Californians moving in who are destroying your state. YOU are. Wake up already. You can’t fight an enemy you refuse to correctly identify.

        saw Gray Davis replaced by Arnold Schwartzenegger, the was usurped by the Bush/

          schwarzenegger was a RINO. He came in promisong to “Blow up the boxes.” His plan was to use the proposition system to pass legislation the CA legislature never would. All of these propositions went down in flames. Seeing the futility of governing California, he retired to his smoking tent, lit a stogy, and waited for his time to expire.

          “”It’s not the Californians moving in who are destroying your state. YOU are.””

          Except, of course, in California, where it’s Bush/Rove and those nasty Texans.

        Tom Servo in reply to B Buchanan. | October 31, 2019 at 8:59 am

        A conservative in California today is like a Jew in 1935 Berlin. Sometimes things are so bad that your only hope is to get out as fast as you can. I’m sure most of those who refused to leave Berlin when they could had jobs and family and a lot of reasons why they stayed, too.

      tom_swift in reply to OnPoint. | October 30, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      My response to everyone who is angry is, “Did you vote for the Democrats? Then why are you surprised?”

      Doesn’t follow at all. Plenty of people vote Democrat—they then have to endure a great deal of arbitrary and expensive government, but aren’t submerged in third-world conditions. Even Democratic cesspools like Hawaii or Massachusetts are still functional. No, California is something special.

        Barry in reply to tom_swift. | October 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm

        “Even Democratic cesspools like Hawaii or Massachusetts are still functional.”

        California is just leading the way. The others are following.

    RandomCrank in reply to B Buchanan. | October 30, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Boy oh boy, just wait until they black out cities like Sacramento, San Francisco, Bakersfield, and L.A.!

    InEssence in reply to B Buchanan. | October 30, 2019 at 11:17 pm

    Everywhere in the USA, except California, they trim the trees back 10 feet from the power lines.

    Have you noticed that this is a California only problem?

      RandomCrank in reply to InEssence. | October 31, 2019 at 8:40 pm

      We live in the Columbia River Gorge that forms part of the border between Washington and Oregon, and our house is less than a mile from high-tension transmission lines. These lines run through forests, and those forests are entirely cleared below and to the sides of those corridors.

      Dang, we’re stupid around here.

LOL, Gavin! GFY.

I’m trying to remember how this has played out in the past.

Hence Dennis the menace was born.

All of this is a feint. Newsom hasn’t any real ability to lead. He’s a lightweight trying to punch up – and failing hard.

If PGE/Edison are split up Sacramento will mandate expensive environmental regulations and rigidly enforce those regulations on the rubes living in the valley/mountains. A good example of environmentalist looking the other way when it concerns them and their own water would be the Crystal Springs Dam retrofit (San Francisco’s water supply) versus trying to navigate regulations imposed upon PGE’s Poe Hydropower Project (kayakers from SF deserve to paddle on white water!)

No one wants PG&E’s old hydro dams – dams built between 1930-1960.

Note the high tension lines:

Maybe some mudslides will put out the fires later.

Ask Nevadans about their electricity rates after Buffet bought their power company.

God bless the firefighters!

So, why doesn’t George Soros, that icon of liberals, step in and salvage California?

Could it be that he really doesn’t care about the “little people”?

Is this asshole crazy? For going on 10 years CA forced PG&E to buy green energy and not clear fire lanes under high capacity lines. Now it reaps the rewards of its obviously flawed policies.
And tries to find a sucker to save his sorry butt.

Let’s see…

The court ruled that PG&E is financially responsible for any damage that might be caused by their lines sparking. But they can’t update their equipment because they’re forced to build new renewable energy sources.

They also can’t cut and thin the brush near their wires because of environmental regulations, and they can’t do controlled burns because of air pollution regulations. So branches will continue to fall on their wires, however well maintained.

PG&E has to pay for all the power that everyone’s rooftop solar installations put out on sunny days, even if they can’t use it. Still, they have to maintain reserve power to supply all the power everyone needs when there’s no sun or wind power.

I’d say that PG&E is screwed. There’s no way they can do all these things the California politicians have dumped on them. Warren Buffet would be a fool to accept PG&E even if they offered it to him for free.

These big fires are inevitable, given the fact that they don’t allow logging, thinning, or controlled burns. So PG&E is going to have to pay for many, many houses that will burn down.

The California politicians will, no doubt, find some way to blame the fires on Trump, like they do for everything else, but it is their own regulations that have created the conditions where little fires become mega-fires.

    RandomCrank in reply to OldProf2. | October 30, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    I think it’s fair to say that Buffett isn’t a fool. If he winds up owning PG&E, it will only be after humongous concessions from the state government.

      Sure, you should totally trust the California state government.

        RandomCrank in reply to Barry. | October 31, 2019 at 8:42 pm

        If the blackouts last another week or so and the state begins to experience widespread food shortages, I think enforceable contracts could be written. But Warren Buffett didn’t become a multi-billionaire by being anyone’s fool. I don’t expect him to step up and catch that falling knife anytime soon.

    They didn’t need to cut the brush, the brush is thinning itself out.

    The real laugh is…you can’t have a fire on the beach because of “climate change”

    Valerie in reply to OldProf2. | October 30, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    “The California politicians will, no doubt, find some way to blame the fires on Trump, ”

    Yup, the former Governor just did that. I find it curious that a man who has been in politics for decades, and gotten very rich off it in California, and been Governor twice, would dare blame a US President who has been in office a whole three years, for the wildfires caused by decades of forest mismanagement.

    But he persisted.

Why should Buffet buy it now? It seems like there is probably plenty of room for their value to drop more. When the outcry about outages really cranks up and a few more lawsuits are filed, he can put in a lower bid AND rake in tons of taxpayer incentives from a desperate governor/government.

Newsom has his hair done at Jiffy Lube.

Rolling blackouts always happen in 3rd-world countries …. so CA is now acting like a 3rd-world country. Well, it actually IS a 3rd-world country thanks to the southern INVASION …. ROFLMAO! I’m sure the new INVADERS feel right at home!

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to walls. | October 31, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Feces and filth in the streets, hepatitis outbreaks, plague of rats, typhus/typhoid fever, threats of bubonic plague and Leprosy. Not to mention the huge number of homeless living on the streets. Yep, California is rapidly transforming itself into a third-world shithoIe. courtesy of the liberal democrats and the insane “green” policies they have pushed over the decades.

      CA did a great job on automobile emissions in the 1970s and 1980s, but like so many political movements they didn’t know when to declare victory and close up shop.

Newsom is at least proposing a tried-and-true fix: OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY FOR solving socialism’s many problems.

Fixt that last line for ya Leslie.

Imagine now california mandates more electric cars, so you buy one.
Then the wildfire seasons starts, the company shuts down your power and the gov says to evacuate but you haven’t been able to charge your car for a few days because of the blackouts.

    murkyv in reply to 4fun. | October 31, 2019 at 1:03 am

    Rand your car battery down trying to keep your cell phones charged,

    Now, can’t use your cell phone because there’s no power to the cell towers

WB would just gut their pension fund and call it a success.

Former Mayor of San Francisco gavin newsome wants to do do for all of California what he did to that once beautiful city. liberal policies are dangerous.

The State of California has an irresponsible legislature that runs California for the benefit of themselves and their friends and family. Meanwhile, the governorship belongs to something very similar to an oligarchy made up of only 4 families, which have done very well for themselves as politicians.

Newsome is Nancy Pelosi’s nephew.

As big and wealthy as California is, the State should have a wider selection of politicians and parties than it does. Maybe it really should be split up, the way Texas has a right to do. Break up that state, and the 9th Circus, and life could be better for a lot of people.

Getty Money Gavin cares not about the California working folks. But the California voters have spoken!

The Friendly Grizzly | October 31, 2019 at 3:08 am

If the Democrats sweep Washington, the other 49 states will be forced to fund California.

Wrong man at the wrong time in the wrongest government in America.

Newsome is the proverbial (as it were) douchebag. A useless fool, and a dangerous person to have in charge of a failing state.

An ape in heels.

Bitterlyclinging | October 31, 2019 at 7:38 am

Buffet buying PG&E with Mexifornias Marxist legislators having their hands in the piggy bank treating it as their cash cow?
Such a deal.
Gavin should lead a fact finding tour to St Kitts for a preview of coming attractions, where the island has rolling electrical blackouts. Every day. Where auto rental agencies, if you can find one with cars to rent, use the old method of card imprinting on the paper forms, submitting them, hoping to get paid. Some day.

Sugar Daddy needed to bail out badly run State. Taxpayers dollars not enough. Please help!

Signed, your sugar baby,

-gavin newsome

Hey, California. You voted for this Commie moron, so now you get to live with the consequences.

Maybe Kimberly Gilfoyle and her boyfriend will buy it

One-party rule always leads to disaster. California’s leftist grass roots and double-down environmental lunatics of course make it much worse, but much of the problem is the old-fashioned corruption of unchecked power in Sacramento, and in the city halls of L.A. and San Francisco. Even ultra-liberal Massachusetts and New York elect Republicans from time to time. Since Davis was recalled, there really hasn’t been a Republican Party in California. This is the result.