We're Gonna Turn It On! We're Gonna Bring You The Power!
By Ed Driscoll · August 3, 2006 10:04 AM · Bobos In Paradise · Capitalism, the Unknown Ideal · The Future and its Enemies
...Or not. My wife and I spent most of last week without power to our Silicon Valley home--and its home offices. This post by Bill "No, I'm not the former Senator" Bradley over Pajamas' new Politics Central is a might too "green" for my tastes, but it makes a great point:
Weathering what may have been California’s worst ever heat wave, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger survived the very issue that began his recalled predecessor’s downward spiral. In doing so, the Governor grappled with issues that may afflict the rest of the nation. It was a perfect energy storm. And it may prove not to be uncommon.However, it fails to mention that for much of the 1980s and '90s, while California business boomed, environmentalism and NIMBY-ism kept electric utilities from keeping up with demand. It makes the Silicon Valley region feel a bit like Blade Runner or Max Headroom: an ultra high-tech computer industry running on an infrastructure that's been little updated in decades. Back in 2001, during the state's last power crisis, Michael W. Lynch of Reason wrote:
Times have been good in California over the past few years; industry has been working at capacity; more people have moved into the state; folks have been buying and air-conditioning larger homes; golf carts have been filling up the state’s fairways. Everything, in short, has been expanding in California since the "deregulation."In the latest City Journal, Nicole Gelinas writes that a similar situation exists in the other big blue "parenthesis state", as Tom Wolfe once dubbed New York and California:
Over the past 10 years, Con Ed says, electricity demand in Gotham has risen 20 percent. It’s no mystery why: over that time period, New York developers have built 160,000 new homes—equivalent to a Boston-sized city.He'd probably reach much the same conclusion as Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn did late last year about his company's future in Los Angeles:
Nissan Motor Co. announced Thursday it is moving its North American headquarters and nearly 1,300 jobs from California to the Nashville area to take advantage of the lower cost of doing business in the Southeast.Faced with headlines such as this in today's New York papers, what business owner wouldn't want to decamp towards a more business-friendly environment--which, not coincidentally, is bound to have more reliable utilities?
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