California’s Almost Rolling Blackouts Again

Growing up in California’s Sacramento Valley, I was used to wide open spaces, an abundance of resources, fresh air with views of the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east and the Coastal Range to the west, and millions of sparkling stars in the sky every single night. What a beautiful place my parents chose to live and raise their 3 children.

Well, life marches on, we children grew up, and I live in a home now about a mile or two from where I grew up stargazing in my youth during so many long summer nights; however, life is not quite the same these days in California’s state capitol city. We’ve grown enormously over the years, and with that comes a variety of challenges, in addition to our very positive growing economy here.

Stage 3 Power Alert
Warnings came flashing across the TV screen today that we were in a Stage 3 Power Alert, informing us that we’d be having rolling power outages and to be prepared. They indicated that this one would actually happen, and that it wasn’t a false alarm. There were appeals on the news reports to help conserve energy by turning off everything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. I sighed once again, reflecting on this sorry state of affairs.

Californians' Amazing Spirit
The amazing spirit we have here is astonishing and heartwarming, though. Once again we Californians banned together, turning off enough of our electrical use today to avoid a rolling blackout. Wow! This interconnection can have some amazingly wonderful benefits. So let’s keep it going.

Many states also know very well about helping and joining together. These days we hardly know our neighbors, and yet here we are coming together conserving our energy to help avoid blackouts.

We also learned from the recent presidential election that one voice can really and truly make a difference. We have more power than we sometimes think we do (no pun intended!).

Conserve, Conserve
I don’t have any brilliant solutions to our current power situation except that it’s clear that we CAN rally together to conserve and prevent at least some of these outages. They spoke on the news just now that we’ll continue to have power problems until we get more power plants built, up and running. We’re talking years here before they’re built, not days. I’m scratching my head wondering why this situation could get to such drastic proportions.

Silver Linings
It seems like human nature at times that we must get hit over the head before we make big changes. The silver lining to our recent craziness with the presidential election was to bring public our desperate need to update and improve our voting tools, not just in Florida but throughout the entire U.S. I am hopeful that a silver lining will also appear for California’s power situation. Lots of fingers are being pointed and blame tossed everywhere right now.

Changing Times
The more simple, far less populated days of my youth are part of the past here, it seems; however, I am hopeful, seeing people rally together, that we can come up with some great ways of dealing with this energy situation that doesn’t include walking on this tight rope with our energy.

I hope many of us can be especially conscientious about energy use in our homes and businesses. We can also help by running dishwashers and other appliances during off-peak hours, too. While I’m doing that, I’m also armed with flashlights, candles, and wood in the fireplace, just in case those measures aren’t quite enough. Afterall, it’s also rather nice to have a meal by candlelight and sit in the front of the fire, whether or not we’re having a blackout.

California Energy Crisis News Coverage
Local agencies say they are ready for blackouts
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 11, 2001 - 4:51 p.m.

State escapes rolling blackouts
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 11, 2001 - 6:56 p.m.

Floyd Norris: To Fix the Electricity Mess, More Power Plants Are Needed
New York Times, Jan. 05, 2001

Davis offers power fix: He urges greater state role to end 'energy nightmare'
Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert, Jan. 09, 2001

Blackouts Barely Averted In Power-Short California
New York Times, Jan. 12, 2001

Trying to Follow the Money in California’s Energy Mess
New York Times, Jan. 12, 2001

Southern California Edison Spokesman
[AUDIO] APTV Jan. 12, 2001

Silicon Valley’s Achilles' Heel Is Exposed
New York Times, Jan. 12, 2001

Compromise Plan Is Urged in Energy Talks
New York Times, Jan. 14, 2001

State plans to shop for power: Credit would rescue utilities
Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert, Jan. 14, 2001

Give us power, state asks Clinton: Davis urges action on natural gas
Sacramento Bee’s Capitol Alert, Jan. 14, 2001

Related Websites:
California ISO (California Independent System Operator)
The new controller of the state’s power grid.

06:05 pm, pst11 January, 2001 Comments, Trackbacks ·';}?>

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