Editor, Daily Nexus:
This letter is in response to Michael C. Warnken’s column (Daily Nexus, “A Summer of ‘Gray-Outs,’ ” May 1). How Warnken concludes that the California energy crisis is Gov. Gray Davis’ fault is quite beyond me, and he doesn’t bother to explain.
Deregulation, led by former Gov. Pete Wilson’s administration, is to blame for the current crisis, not environmental regulations. The utilities, in a shortsighted quest for quarterly profits, decided they didn’t want to be in the power production business, and sold off all their power generating capabilities. After all, following deregulation they could buy power cheaply and make a tidy profit without those messy power plants. The winds shifted, and the utilities got their asses ripped out. As in the Savings and Loan deregulation fiasco, the taxpayers are left holding the bag.
Warnken says that if Davis “is seriously thinking [about the state using eminent domain to confiscate power plants], someone should tell him to resign right now.” He then says that the government is not capable of running a power plant. The government is building a space station with a fleet of space shuttles. They developed the atomic bomb and put men on the moon. And as far as power, under the Rural Electrification project in the 1920s, the government successfully provided power to the entire United States, with enormous benefits to the U.S. economy. The U.S. government seems pretty capable to me.
Finally, Warnken is “excited” by the idea of Arnold Schwarzenneger debating Davis. He says all Arnold has to say is “It’s time to go nuclear, baby,” and all will be solved. Perhaps Warnken popped out from a screening of “The Last Action Hero.” But I don’t think Californians are going to go for electricity at double the price, while producing some of the most deadly materials known to man. There are better ways to heat water.
B. CLAY COOPER