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12 October 2019

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TonyL

Sometimes it helps to temporarily suppress your prejudice to take a hard look at the big picture. Extreme weather like I've said above is the root cause for more and more fires every year here in Southern Cal.

Southern California wildfires are almost always caused by dumb or careless people doing dumb things.

Sandalwood fires: garbage truck dumped hot load which started a trash fire that eventually spreaded and burned 7,500 acres:
https://abc7.com/video-shows-trash-truck-that-ignited-deadly-calimesa-fire/5612626/

EconomicsExpert

In reply to Fred

I live in California -- investigations show PG&E is a for-profit company that diverted $495+ million dollars that was supposed to move power lines underground to shield them from high winds
as
well as install more safety measures but instead spent it on increased executive pay & profits for shareholders/investors

Don't believe all the articles from FoxNews or Wall St Journal that
just tells only 1 side of the story--they
published the falsehood that the private private sector Xerox invented the the internet when instead it was the gov
that invented the internet, which they never retracted and so wrong
that even
Xerox published a press release that they didn't invent the internet
--
it was actually Vint Cerf & Kahn who were both
research professors at gov university UCLA on gov DARPA contract that
invented the internet

https://www.salon.com/2019/10/09/after-choosing-profits-over-maintenance-california-utility-giant-forces-blackouts-on-customers/

"Though PG&E is positioning the move as a preventative measure, it was also avoidable: the company chose to diverting money from power line under-grounding projects
— among other infrastructure initiatives —
to “other high priority system improvements”
like boosting corporate profits
and
paying executives even more.

Despite their recent bankruptcy filing, the company's chief executive officer Bill Johnson received an annual base salary of $2.5 million for a three-year contract — double the salary of the previous CEO.

In 1994, the company's failure to trim trees near its power lines led to the Trauner Fire in Nevada County, California.

In 1997, a jury found the company guilty on 739 counts of criminal negligence for causing this fire.

Thanks to a subsequent California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) investigation, the public learned that between 1987 and 1994

PG&E diverted $495 million from its budgets to maintain its systems to boost corporate profits.

Decades later, another an investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission found that
PG&E diverted more than
$100 million in gas safety and
operations collected from customers over a 15-year period to spend on bonuses for executives,
among other profit-makers for key stakeholders.

The investigation linked its inadequate safety culture to the pipeline explosion in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010, which killed eight people.

In 2017, four fires occurred in California’s Wine Country because trees hit PG&E power lines.

The company is also responsible for the 2018 Camp Fire, which was the deadliest in the state's history.

Despite the corruption that was documented in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, in 2017,
state regulators approved spending $60 million to move existing PG&E electrical lines underground.

The tactic would shield exposed power lines from gusty winds that spread fires — but the company only
spent $28.3 million on the initiative, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In 2018, a KTVU investigation found records of unused funds belonging to cities and towns, and by 2016, nearly $44 million dollars were left unspent.

According to the Wall Street Journal, PG&E removed 451,000 more trees between and 2018 than it had originally planned in an increased effort to deal with massive tree mortality.

Some politicians and activists have called to municipalize the perpetually negligent utility company, including San Francisco Mayor London Breed.

Currently, PG&E is going through Chapter 11 bankruptcy from the 2017 fires as victims of the Camp Fire have filed millions of dollars in damage lawsuits against the utility company.

Another major wildfire on PG&E’s watch could equate to more political trouble for the corporation; that consideration played into the calculus that led to their decision to OK a Public Safety Power Shutoff."

Seamus Padraig

Oops! I missed the "not" in the statement somehow. Sorry for the error.

Lars

The Trump University was a fraud and the Washington Post has a long list of thousands of lies since he was sworn in. Of course, you could ask all his wives too.

Lee

Wrt California fires. Cleared out areas under power lines would help remove one ignition factor of many that start wildfires but is a weak attempt to blame one group of people, damn hippies, for the problem of wildfires where people live. When 50 mph bone dry 95 F winds blow through a brush hillside that 30’ cleared area under lines means nothing when the spark comes from farm equipment, a vehicle on the road dragging metal, or a retired military guy living the dream in the hills.
Eco hippies didn’t drive man made fuel sources, aka housing developments, into scrub fuel sources. Regular people of all types do that. Look at all the fires in suburban settings that go up in smoke, lots more fuel in a house or apartment complex than a scrub grass field.

turcopolier

lars

Yes, the Trump University was a scam. His wives have all done quite well financially rom being married to a man incapable of marital fidelity. The Post's view of what are lies and what are exaggerations is simply political polemic. What do you do or did to make a living? Evangelical preacher maybe?

CK

Napolitano wanted a SC nomination. Trump did not give him one. Instant NeverTrumper.
Have no clue about Amash.

Lee

It’s convenient to have someone lower on the totem pole to blame. I grew up in Kern county and coastal areas. Experienced a few major conflagrations up close. People who live on the margins of society are a small factor in the major elements that make up these devastating fires.

turcopolier

CK

Amash is of Arab descent. Why would he like Trump?

srw

I think his charity was also a scam. The NY authorities shut it down and if I remember right his kids and Trump himself are forbidden to run any charities in the state.

Fred

EconomicsExpert ,

"investigations show PG&E is a for-profit company" Wow, you needed an investigation to fiugre that out?

"In 1994, the company's failure to trim trees..." That's a couple decades ago.
"California Public Utilities Commission .... between 1987 and 1994"
That's still a couple decades ago. I guess you should have changed the state legislature to change who was on the CPUC. You might also research privatization and divestiture of transmission lines, that happened a couple of decages ago.
How many miles of 500KV transmission lines are going to be needed to elminate electric transmission lines as a cause of fires? I can't find the word "underground" in the ISO draft document. But then they don't have PG&E's revenue stream and aren't thus a target of lawyers yet.
http://www.caiso.com/Documents/RevisedDraft-2018-2019_Transmission_Plan.pdf
I won't bother to ask if you are going to ban matches or outdoor BBQs as causes of fires.

How is the capacitor effect from these lines being burried going to be addressed? Have fun paying because neither $60 million nor the previously mentioned $495 million to "maintain its systems" is going to touch the cost.

Fred

Lee,

"a vehicle on the road "

A hot catalytic converter in the exhaust system and tall grass. That's caused more that one fire in South Florida.
"Eco Hippies" move to areas made civilezed by all those other people.

Terence Gore

http://www.coyoteblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/drought-download1-2016.png

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C1-24N2VQAIrcCR.jpg

I don't see a trend in either rainfall or droughts

Terence Gore

https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/california_drought_timeline.png

big picture

Factotum

Lars,

Students at his real estate investing seminars were uniformly happy with the content - they did get him on fraudulent marketing hype in small details; but not on the substance of the offering.

Three marriages is not unusual any longer, but his real testament of family values are his rather exemplary children. You can't expose anything about Trump that has not been in the news for a very long time. Voters knew what they were getting. He hides nothing, which is part of his deeper appeal. Look up the old Peter Grave's PSB documentary "Biography" on Donald Trump and see what else you can learn about him.

Learn about Trump (and Marla) following Dr Norman Vincent Peale and The Method as set out in the former best selling Power of Positive Thinking as preached from his NYC Marble Collegiate Church. This will help you understand the person of Donald Trump better than anything you try to cough up today.

If this is any interest, I was a rabid No-Trumper even hoping the PeePee dossier would prevent his inauguration. However, once I saw was a scam the Democrats were up to after he was sworn in, I quickly become a Pro-Trumper and now have never looked back with a moment of regret. Trump-Pence 2020.

Factotum

Amash family rumored to have business dealings with China that could have been affected by Trump's China trade policies. All politics are both local and personal - old truism remains intact.

Factotum

What is "extreme weather"? When there is no long term data, how can anything be deemed "extreme" as if there was one Golden Temperature Mean. Adapt or die. We can roll with 1 degree of temperature change, if even that is to be believed in any reliable context.

Factotum

BTW: Vagrants cooking meth camped out in open fields on hot days has triggered many local fires. Or meth heads cooking meth in their lean to homes or RV's -same thing. Good thing the Democrats declared we won the "war against drugs" right?

Diana C

It's Sunday, so I'm trying to honor the Fourth Commandment. But, I just can't help but applaud the firing of Shephard Smith. And I agree that Chris Wallace could also be let go, and I would be happy.

I understood that FOX was making an attempt to provide more balanced commentary. With Smith and Wallace, however, it's their smugness that made/makes me want to turn off the Television while they are talking. I was extremely happy when Bob Beckel was finally kicked off "The Five."

EconomicsExpert

"investigations show PG&E is a for-profit company" Wow, you needed an investigation to fiugre that out?

1) NO, but you do need an investigation to figure out as stated in my FULL QUOTE: "PG&E is a for-profit company that diverted $495+ million dollars that was supposed to move power lines underground to shield them from high winds
as
well as install more safety measures but instead spent it on increased executive pay & profits for shareholders/investors"

Cutting off or editing out a full quote is how propaganda & intellectually
dishonest media operates on both CNN, MSNBC, & FoxNews ..don't be like them

2) Solar power absolutely powers homes as long as you have a battery to store the energy or an electric car who can reverse charge & power the home (most electric cars can)
https://www.fastcompany.com/90415303/to-keep-the-lights-on-during-californias-blackouts-people-are-using-solar-power

2) Because firefighter investigations show 96% of fires are started by humans discarding cigarette butts or campfires/firepits or electrical equipment malfunctions,
there|
are clear-cut designated campfire areas/barbeque areas & smoking areas where
you can smoke cigarettes & make campfires & have barbeques (usually, there are steel barbeques stands & firepits made of concrete also already provided in those areas)
but
smoking & campfires are prohibited out of those designated areas


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/12/us/california-fires.html
"Last year, humans were to blame for more than
96 percent of California’s 8,054 wildfires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, whether the first embers came from abandoned firepits,
discarded cigarettes
or
equipment malfunctions."

ex PFC Chuck

This just flew by on my Twitter feed: "US-allied Kurds strike deal to bring Assad's Syrian troops back . . .
https://twitter.com/AlanSipress/status/1183476964205715457?s=20

ISL

Fred, my company does contract work for one of the other utility companies in California. Cannot go into details as it is litigation related. They were not /are not hindered from proper maintenance by regulations. PG&E rolled the dice.

Lars

If those students were so happy, why did they sue him and force him to settle for a fairly large amount? It has also been shown that he did not take his marriage vows seriously and now we see that he did not take his oath of office seriously either.

I see a lot of "Yes, but...." argument coming from the Cool Aid drinkers. Yes, he does things that are dumb, amoral and even illegal, but......

There is no doubt in my mind that when the people that got us the US Constitution inserted the Impeachment Clause, they had somebody like Donald Trump in mind and the first use of it was against William Blount and he was removed from office. What they have in common is centered around real estate deals and betrayals.

TonyL

Terrence,

I can't argue with that. Honestly, I don't see trends in statistics either.

However, living in Southern Cal all my life, I can see the climate pattern changed gradually in the last 40 years or so. And I'm saying it is just nature (not arguing about the CO2). We have been practically praying for rain because the droughts last too long. And then when it rains it pours. All the dried out vegetation need is a careless act by anybody, or just a crazy accident like Fred mentioned below about catalytic converter.

I also agree with Lee above: "It’s convenient to have someone lower on the totem pole to blame".

Fred

Eco,

Thanks for the discredit, disqualify commentary. Right back at you since misquoting something and preceding from that is standard conduct on the internet. 1994 is still more than 2 decades ago. Thanks for the NYT link. That is not an answer to how burying transmission lines will cut wildfires or how much that would cost.

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