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Californians’ anger at politicians and PG&E intensifies as wildfires and blackouts continue

Californians’ anger at politicians and PG&E intensifies as wildfires and blackouts continue

Taxpayers and business owners are unhappy the new normal

Another wildfire has erupted near Los Angeles, forcing thousands to evacuate and more power blackouts.

Mandatory evacuations for about 8,000 people in the Los Angeles area are in place after a wildfire began late Thursday before quickly spreading overnight. The Maria Fire is the latest addition to California’s busy 2019 fire season.

In a press conference at noon local time, officials said the fire had grown to burn nearly 9,000 acres. The fire started on Thursday at 6:14 p.m. local time affecting 750 acres within an hour. However, it spread overnight to encompass more than 8,000 acres.

The continuing combination of wildfires and blackouts has Californians furious at both politicians and the power companies. There are now reports that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) workers are being threatened and run off the road by frustrated customers.

PG&E officials have described numerous incidents of workers being targeted. Last week, CEO Bill Johnson told reporters a PG&E worker’s car was apparently shot at with a pellet gun in Glenn County. He and Andy Vesey, president of the utility, have been pleading with customers to stop harassing company employees.

“I know the anger’s there but please, please don’t take it out on the people in the field,” Vesey said Monday.

PG&E workers have been inspecting power lines to ensure they are still safe to operate despite the high winds and to turn power back on in communities where power was cut.

And while Governor Gavin Newsom tries to redirect the blame to the power companies and their executives, Newsom and the Democratic Party’s green policies are cited by many to be a significant contributing factor to this disastrous situation.

Matt Shupe, a Republican political consultant in California, argued that while the governor has done what he can to combat the wildfires, including declaring a state of emergency tapping into state and federal funds, the risk of wildfires could have been decreased if Newsom and state Democrats had taken a different approach with environmental policies.

In their natural state, forests are regularly thinned by fire but the billions of dollars that the state spends fighting wildfires and restrictions on logging have allowed forests to accumulate an overload of vegetation and dead trees.

“Newsom prides himself on being the most environmentally friendly politician,” Shupe told Fox News. “But there needs to be a more pragmatic approach than just leaving these trees to turn into tinder.”

Newsom is now trying to appease those unhappy with his governorship by designating one of his top aides as his “energy czar” to oversee the state’s utilities.

Ana Matosantos will continue to serve as Newsom’s cabinet secretary while also working as the state’s energy czar, where she will be charged with helping fix the state’s utility problems.

During the news conference, Newsom initially indicated Matosantos would step down as cabinet secretary, essentially Newsom’s second highest ranking aide, to take the position, but his office later said he misspoke.

“We cannot afford the kind of public safety power shutoffs we’ve experienced over the last week,” Newsom said at an afternoon news conference.

However, many Californians can see through the virtue signalling and are making plans to leave the state. Business leaders in the state’s iconic Silcon Valley are weighing their options . . . including relocation.

Silicon Valley business leaders warn that power shutoffs and the unreliability of the electric grid threaten the state’s thriving economy, including its important technology industry.

“The uncertainty is the greatest threat they face to running their businesses in Silicon Valley today,” said Tim McRae, Vice President at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. McRae is in charge of the organization’s energy policy.

…PG&E officials have warned the public that power shutoffs may be necessary for the next decade. But Silicon Valley business leaders say companies may not be content to wait that long and could locate to other areas with more reliable supplies of power.

And many state residents are also considering a move in the wake of the “new normal.

George Wiget, who evacuated from his home in Bodega Bay in Sonoma County on Saturday, told KTVU at a shelter in Petaluma on Monday he was angry about the entire situation.

“If I had the money I would move from California tomorrow,” he told KTVU. “Tomorrow.”

Californians are also now seriously questioning the priorities of their elected representatives.

I anticipate that nothing significant will change over the next year, except that more homes, businesses, farmland, and landscapes will be destroyed. Fighting against the obvious failures of green eco-activist policies, which have blackened the Golden State, would be a solid first place to start for anyone planning to run against the Democrats in 2020.


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notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | November 2, 2019 at 4:15 pm

If they’re really really angry, then they can start Impeaching the CaCa State Democrats!

We live in the Columbia River Gorge that forms part of the border between Oregon and Washington. Our house is less than a mile from a high-tension transmission line that I think runs to the Hanford nuke about 100 miles away.

That line runs through forests, which are thick around here. All of the trees underneath that line, and to the sides, have long since been removed. Our local utility spends a lot of time and money clearing around distribution lines.

California banned the cutting of trees underneath transmission lines, and pretty much ended most logging in the state including forest thinning. They did this to themselves, and I have no sympathy for them now.

Something else: Where we live, there is a mixture of public and private forest. We live less than a half-mile from some of the private forests, which are managed as a crop. The public forests are essentially treated as a free resource and not maintained by thinning and spraying for beetles.

Within the past five or six years, there have been two massive forest fires in the Gorge. Both were in public forests during dry years, and together they burned 100,000 acres. To my knowledge, there have been no significant burns in the private forests here, which are quite extensive.

The private forests are treated by their owners as a financial asset, and as a result are thinned and sprayed. They don’t burn, but just try telling any of the “environmentalists” here or in California that the public forests should adopt at least some of the management practices used by the private ones.

Even if you don’t clearcut in public forests, you should trim underbrush and spray for beetle infestations. The “enviromentalists” really couldn’t care less about the health of public forests.

    puhiawa in reply to RandomCrank. | November 2, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    I have family in Rosevill CA. They are served by a tiny coop electrical company . It also did not adopt the sacred forest concept in spite of the CA regulations. They have no blackouts, and only grass fires.

      Tiki in reply to puhiawa. | November 2, 2019 at 5:52 pm

      SMUD. Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

      Roseville is mostly surrounded by suburbs and rice fields 😛

      RandomCrank in reply to puhiawa. | November 2, 2019 at 8:24 pm

      Grass fires can be very dangerous and destructive, but they are short-lived. Summer before last, we had about 100,000 acres worth of them around here. One person died, as opposed to no one dying in two big forest fires that were together the same size, one in 2012 and the other in 2017.

      Grass fires spread MUCH more quickly. We maintain a very wide perimeter around our house and out-buildings.


    Glenn is kinda rural and it’s possible that the car just happened to catch a stray pellet. Lots of rice fields and orchards. Who knows.

    Politicians and lawyers whipped up public anger against PG&E after fires in 2017. A real life friend told me that blue collar PG&E crews were being jeered and flipped the bird by rent-a-mob types just after the CARR/CAMP fire.

    maxmillion in reply to RandomCrank. | November 3, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Beetles have rights too.

They not only voted for this, they would continue the insanity to the very end. That is what most miss when analyzing liberal institutions: it is never the theory that is is the executioner. The California solution to this malpractice, will be an intensification of liberal, green and taxation policies. Restrictions on the public from using public lands, including economic usage; restrictions on agriculture and industry…and of course more gun control. Demand that fire departments hire more LBGT applicants and a ban on fireplaces.

    iconotastic in reply to puhiawa. | November 2, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Worse yet, like a plague of locusts Californians will bring their failed approaches to the rest of the country. They did it to Seattle.

    When I see a CA license plate around here I always have the urge to run them off the road.

they voted for it–perhaps the fires can keep folks warm this winter–past time to cut them loose

Charlie Kirk is homophobic for saying anything critical about San Francisco .

If the Tech Giants wanted first world quality, they shouldn’t have located in a 3rd world area.

OTOH, the H1-Bs from India probably feel at home with street feces (not that they find it any more pleasant, nor contribute, but they should wonder about what they were told).

Atlas is shrugging. Calizuela is merely ahead of the curve.

    RandomCrank in reply to tz. | November 2, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    I suppose the fact that Charlie Kirk is gay won’t keep the “progressives” from calling him a homophobe. LOL

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tz. | November 2, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Yes, Charlie Kirk better watch out or DiFi and Pelosi could
    Harvey Milk him…….


Much easier to be mad at PG&E than it is to ask themselves what their “progressive” state government did wrong.

    Insufficiently Sensitive in reply to RandomCrank. | November 3, 2019 at 11:30 am

    Much easier to be mad at PG&E than it is to ask themselves what their “progressive” state government did wrong.

    That’s because the whole media cabal it doing its best to point all the blame at PG&E. When the public hears ‘bad PG&E’ 24/7, it absorbs that bias whether or not there’s any truth to it.

    But the truth here is elsewhere, and is centered in Sacramento. Whence cometh all the green edicts commanding PG&E to ‘invest’ billions to built ‘green power’ by 2025 or whenever, at the expense of electric ratepayers – leave nothing in the budget for regular inspection and maintenance of facilities, or for clearing the brush out of their hi-V power transmission lines. Small wonder that the natural deterioration of unmaintained facilities lights the fuse for spectacular wind-driven conflagrations.

    It’s the virtue-signaling gummint in Sacramento who owns these phenomena, and it’s time to end their tenure ASAP.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | November 2, 2019 at 4:51 pm

Maybe Governor Gruesome can fly in that Swede to help him in his many messes.

Too funny not to share.

“You may not believe this, but Greta Thunberg’s no air travel plan has hit a (hilarious) snag ”

“… Greta Thunberg is stuck “halfway to Chile” because organizers moved the event to Spain…..

It turns out I’ve traveled half around the world, the wrong way:)” and “Now I need to find a way to cross the Atlantic in November,” which is, you know, winter and not the best sailing weather…

What the carbon footprint of her failed trip? We already know that her original trip involved flying crew members all over the place to reposition the yacht. And now this….

More from the WSJ:

Greta’s voyage has had its own critics, who have pointed out that some members of the sailing crew will return by plane, while others fly in to sail the boat back to Europe….”

At least, with Dhimmi-crats’ having had a near-total monopoly on state power for decades, the GOP can hardly come in for blame, here. But, of course, greasy-coiffed Gavin Newsom is blaming PG&E, at every opportunity. Not that the utility doesn’t deserve some blame. But, for the apparatchiks of Cali’s colossal government apparatus to deflect all responsibility in this matter is simply absurd. No buried power lines, preventing prescribed burns that are common-sense parts of competent forest management — all preventive maintenance policies that were thwarted by the Dhimmis.

The Dhimmis never take responsibility for anything, but, man, they sure are fast to dish out blame!

Want to bet that most Californians will continue to elect Dhimmis, here? Nothing will change, as far as the power structure is concerned.

America has it’s own Venezuela now — the People’s Republic of California.

I’ve given up on Democrats. Especially in SF.

Eastwood Ravine | November 2, 2019 at 5:47 pm

If only the voters in California would hold Democrats responsible for their “do gooder” laws, policies, and regulations that do no good. It may never happen, or not happen in my lifetime, but if and when it does, it will spell electoral doom to the Democrats.

California has perhaps the 3rd most powerful person in government, with Speaker Pelosi, yet her sole focus other than maintaining her power is impeachment. Not healthcare, not the fires in her state, the feces and needles in the streets of her city, but impeachment 24/7. Instead of trying to work with the President and Senate, she is adversarial in every single way – storming out of meetings and lying about it. She is national disgrace. Stupid people of California, go to the polls in November 2020 and vote out every single Democrat from dog catcher to Senator.

caseoftheblues | November 2, 2019 at 5:53 pm

CA voters will respond by voting in even more extreme leftists….it’s what they do every time.

    It doesn’t matter in the least who or what CA voters vote for, when it’s Democrats who control the counting of the ballots.

    Even if somehow the voters manage to pass some sensible legislation, the Courts will negate it; they’re also controlled by Democrats. For examples look at Proposition 8 and Proposition 187; there are many more.

    That’s why conservatives are leaving, but progressives, illegals & good-for-nothings are still coming. They get free stuff that conservatives are tired of paying for!

    iconotastic in reply to caseoftheblues. | November 2, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    More (bad) government is always the answer.

SeekingRationalThought | November 2, 2019 at 5:55 pm

In the whole, wide world, there is nothing dumber than a Californian in a polling booth. When they stop electing incompetent dweebs, I might be Abel to generate some sympathy.

SeekingRationalThought | November 2, 2019 at 5:55 pm

In the whole, wide world, there is nothing dumber than a Californian in a polling booth. When they stop electing incompetent dweebs, I might be Abel to generate some sympathy.

People in Commiefornia need to suck it up… They’re getting everything they voted for!

Everywhere in the Nation that there is high-tension cross country power-lines, the power companies maintain these by regular clearing of all brush and trees which may present any type of threat or fire hazard.
This has to be done. It always has been done.
However, the State of California decided at some time back that they just could not allow the power companies to maintain their right-of-way and manage their risks by keeping these corridors safe and clear because it just seems so awfully heartless to put a bird or a squirrel out of a home…
So now, the power companies have had the ability to maintain a responsible power transmission grid taken away from them, yet the have been sued to the point of insolvency for allowing these fires to occur.
Well now, they were forced into the position of reckless power distribution from the start. They should not be held liable, but that is the way it works in California.
Further, the loss of life and property by all the various contributing factors is difficult to estimate.

So, California is a mess. There is an Exodus taking place as conditions there are still in a downward spiral.
Unfortunately, when these refugees arrive in States like mine, they bring their politics with them, and more every day, I see my home State becoming Californicated as well.

I find it somewhat comical that a ultra liberal relative who is screaming for total green power is affected by this multi day power failure. So they are using their gas powered generators to survive it for now.

    RandomCrank in reply to rscalzo. | November 2, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    When we escaped Seattle for rural WA State two years ago, and had a house built, along the way I examined every “alternative energy” idea with an open mind. My standards were: a) Is it available, as opposed to being a press release, b) Is it reliable, and c) Does it cost out?

    It turned out that none of the alternatives met those tests, so we wound up using the local utility for electricity, the combination of an air-source heat pump and a backup propane furnace for heating and cooling, and a propane-powered instant hot water heater.

    I did learn quite a bit about solar panels along the way. Turns out that very few of them hook directly to a house’s electrical system. The overwhelming majority of them are “grid tied,” and send all their power to the utility, with the customer drawing all of his electricity from the grid.

    Hooking straight to the house requires another level of expense, and at least some battery storage to smooth out the variances in panel output even while the sun is shining. This is why almost all panels send all of their juice straight to the grid.

    I suspect that many a solar panel householder in California didn’t think too much about that reality, and has wound up more than a little surprised that when the grid goes down their panels are useless — even at the height of a cloudless day.

    Oh well. That’s what happens when you don’t do your homework. This isn’t why we declined to go solar. The reason was that the cost of the power exceeded the cost of utility power. But that one little detail didn’t escape me.

    Oh, by the way, in our area, 89% of the power comes from the the dams and wind turbines on the Columbia River, and another 8% from the nuke at Hanford, WA. Only 3% from a coal-fired plant in Boardman, Oregon. Turns out that per kWh, a solar panel user in our area is responsible for at least 62% more CO2 emissions than a standard utility customer.

    That’s also not why we didn’t install solar, but it’s another detail that didn’t escape me. When I pointed it out to our local solar weenies, they actually discontinued their e-mail distribution list and reconstituted it without me. “Progressives” and facts aren’t always friends. LOL

      iconotastic in reply to RandomCrank. | November 2, 2019 at 9:39 pm

      I recall reading about some folks who put in emergency power with capacitor/battery backup for maybe 16 hours. But the cost was pretty high (over $15k, if memory serves). That buys a lot of propane for a 10K propane generator 🙂

        RandomCrank in reply to iconotastic. | November 2, 2019 at 11:25 pm

        I didn’t get to the second- and third-level details. The basic panel array didn’t cost out. I knew about the rest, but didn’t much bother with most of those numbers. I did look into complete “off grid,” just for the hell of it, but the storage costs actually caused me to laugh out loud in front of my computer.

In my rural WA state island the local power company workers are wonderful. The company itself does a pretty good job but even if it didn’t I couldn’t blame the workers for the company failures. When we have windstorms/snowstorms that causes widespread and extended power outages we see these workers in the worst of conditions getting the lines fixed as fast as possible.

You know, I was, at first, sad for Californians. Then I read an article where CAL FIRE&Forestry made the decision to sever their ties with the amateur radio community.

For those of you who don’t know, the amateur radio community has been around since 1922 and forms the backbone of a good state’s emergency civil infrastructure.
They provide communications when cell towers run out of power because a cell site can run for 48 hours without outside power.
An Amateur radio repeater can run for about 2 weeks on 4 car batteries hooked up in series.
Apparently, the state of California told the owners of the amateur repeater sites that they were obsolete and the state wanted to sever ties with them, so if they wanted to remain on public land, they had to pay a hefty rent to keep their repeater sites there.
these sites are often situated on fire towers, municipal cell towers and at hospitals and fire stations.

Now, however, the radio repeaters have been removed and the fires have been going on for over a week so no more cell service.
NO communication whatsoever for any municipal services because they don’t have power and they have been told not to use ham radio operators who build their gear out of spare parts, toys and a battery and talk around the world.

I personally know a guy who made a transceiver and put it in an altoids tin, hooked it to a morse code key and walked down the street with it in his pocket, talking to England, from a little town in Tennessee. he powered the whole thing with a 9 volt battery.

These are the people that california government views as “obsolete”…

I have no sympathy for them or the people who voted these idiots into office.

I DO, however, hope that the environmentalists stay in California and burn with their creation instead of fleeing the conflagration to spread their insanity elsewhere.

I’ve read elsewhere today that PG&E be nationalized by the State of California. What a great idea! That’ll solve their problems for sure! After all, look what it’s done for Venezuela.

    RandomCrank in reply to gospace. | November 2, 2019 at 11:27 pm

    Oddly enough, as a non-Californian Westerner, I like the idea because it will wind up being such a cautionary tale for everyone else. If residents of that state think their electric bills are high now, all I can say is: Just wait.

Fed up with the disaster California has become, Californians are now moving to other states where they hope to take over the politics in those states and implement their brand of socialism “correctly”. I find it interesting how one of the reasons for having states was to allow them to act as laboratories to find out what works so that these improved practices could be implemented at the federal level. In the case of California, their policies are abject failures and yet the Left wants to incorporate them everywhere.
Why is it that the vast majority of those states and those cities that are in the complete disarray, that are financially in the crapper facing imminent bankruptcy, that have the worst infrastructure problems, that have the worst crime and gun violence, that have the greatest problems with drugs and homelessness issues, etc., are places where the Democrat majority has led them for generations? Why is it that despite these serial failures, Democrats continue to tell the world how they have the better ideas and policies?
So now comes the most basic question of all. If they mess up America and turn it into a California-like disaster, then where is left for people to run to in their attempt to find a better place to live?

What exactly qualifies Ana Matosantos to assume the role of “energy czar”? She’s a finance person with no technical or energy industry experience.

In fairness to the unfortunate inhabitants of the People’s Democratic Republic of California, their ability to change political leaders is greatly limited. Massive voting fraud measures such as “ballot harvesting” and illegal alien voting, a hapless GOP opposition, and a jungle primary system that often held two Communist candidates for state-wide positions have left the proles very little say in their own government.

If they mess up America and turn it into a California-like disaster, then where is left for people to run to in their attempt to find a better place to live?

the million dollar qustion indeed

there is, of course, an alternative, as our forefathers discovered

It’s very hard to feel sorry for people who you watch do stupid things. Like watching an adult pick up a fork, walk to the electric socket and put it in, you can holler stop until the cows come home but if they’re determined to do something stupid, they’re going to do something stupid.

Same goes for what is happening to California. They were warned about their dead tree and brush clearing policies (or their lack thereof) for decades. Watching major wildfires across the west over the past 15-20 years gave them ample justification to reconsider what they were doing. Same goes for their policies that forced PG&E to spend through the roof on social justice issues at the expense of spending on safety.

In the end, elections have consequences and Californians are seeing the results of past years of some seriously stupid voting. An article the other day talked about California already subjecting itself to living in a pre-modern living environment. Let’s just hope the rest of the country is paying attention and is smart enough to understand that what it’s seeing occurring in the People’s Democratic Republic of Kalifornia is 100% avoidable.

California and Venezuela have much in common.

Hey guys … people in CA who have lost their homes and businesses, lost family and friends … they didn’t vote for this. Just like you all we get is one lousy vote every four years. Other than that single vote we have precious little say in the decisions made by a def eared Sacramento. This “it serves ’em right” attitude is disgusting. Those that champion it should be ashamed of themselves … and be prepared for the day when the shoe is on the other foot.

You get to vote for your House of Representatives every two years like everyone else, and you vote in your own state level politicians, just like everyone else. Agreed that there are many who have lost homes and businesses who didn’t vote for this because they voted for a Republican, but if you voted for a Democrat, you voted for this. Sorry, but everything Democrats touch turns to feces.

Perhaps AOC will weigh in with some sage advice and point out that we need the Green New Deal more and faster than ever. After all, with all the CO2 released by these fires we probably now only have 11 years left until armagedddon. Poor Greta Thunberg must be apoplectic.

lots of dead people, illegal aliens and senile people in nursing homes whose identity was stolen voted for it.

California is a laboratory now that should show the rest of the country where extreme leftist policies lead, both economically and environmentally. Power failures are harbingers of what would happen if the “eco-nuts” have their way. In a society that runs on technology and computers, power failures are very destructive of life style and the economy. Politicians need to learn that failure to provide reliable electric power is a ticket to unemployment in public office. It turns their state into a third world area. Californians please live and stay in California. We don’t want you moving in to “red states” and polluting them with ideas that don’t work.