It appears that I agree with Ted Nugent*

Or, less likely, that Ted Nugent* agrees with me:

3. Whatever the arguments for private vs public ownership of grid, I see little basis for claim that public utility would be more likely to reduce fire risk. One way or another ratepayers or taxpayers will have to pay to fireproof system. Ownership structure is mostly irrelevant.

Well, yes:

So, changing the system or ownership of provision is not going to change matters. Moving to a community-owned, state-run, or even just more regulated provider isn’t going to solve the problem.

Consumers, given their voice through that regulation process, aren’t willing to carry the costs of the maintenance and upgrade of the current system. Let alone move to that more expensive technology, the burial of cables. Who owns the system doesn’t change this underlying reality.

We are fully capable of providing an electricity grid year-round without burning down half the countryside.

*It’s Ted Nordhaus which is much less fun

16 thoughts on “It appears that I agree with Ted Nugent*”

  1. Can someone explain why this whole ‘providing electricity is setting California on fire’ issue has suddenly arisen? I mean its not as if electric power lines are a new invention. Why is it suddenly an deadly danger when it hasn’t been for decades? Is it because the usual eco freaks have not been managing the countryside and the slightest fire now sets the who State ablaze?

  2. I suspect the cost for everything would fall by an order of magnitude if qualified people were simply allowed to do the work instead of running it through a government box ticking exercise for 3 years first.

  3. The green mob have somehow, laughably, come to the view that woodland must be preserved at all costs. Nature in northern California has been solving the issue of dry wood and shrub build up for millions of years with a cycle of wildfires / ash / rain / new growth. It is carbon neutral over time. Quite a few species actually rely on the fires. It’s the not allowing natural fires to take place when they need to that is precisely the problem. The whole sorry bullshit saga could be easily solved with two simple expedients:
    1. Regular controlled burns of the entire region prone to natural wildfires – remove the fuel
    2. A 100m tree and scrub free zone around powerlines or human habitation.
    The eco loons would hate it but they lost all common sense a very very long time ago.

  4. People seem to want to be able to live in combustible woodland – and ill-managed woodland at that – while passing the costs of the fire risks onto other people. Ordinary human behaviour really.

    As for power cables starting fires – we in Britain probably have no feel for the risk of that because (i) many of our cables are buried, and (ii) our broadleaved woodland won’t burn come hell or high water. Our conifer plantations will burn, our heaths will, our moors will, but not our woods.

  5. Jim, you worked it out. Yep, it’s the eco-freaks who have taken over and stopped proper management of the forests and woodland. PG&E is just another corporation that didn’t stand up to the greenies and now they are paying the price. They should have refused to pay the danegeld at the first opportunity, now they have been paying it big style.

  6. The eco loons would hate it but they lost all common sense a very very long time ago.

    They are experts at dishonestly putting the blame on others. The power company is the fall guy this time.

  7. Is it truly beyond the wit of man, oops sorry, x-an, to stick a sensor on the top of every pylon that calls home every 30 seconds to say “yup, still standing”, and cut power only when a signal is missed? You can have three of them on every pylon so you don’t cut power every time one of them goes on the blink.

  8. dearme: also, when arch-socialist Stanley Baldwin set up the National Grid in the 1930s it was ensured that combustable nature was clear-felled away from overhead power lines.

  9. If no one lived in highly combustible forests then they could burn every year without problems, but many idiots just gotta have that pristine nature vibe. Add in typical EcoNazi fanatacism and Bob’s yer uncle

  10. Patrick: “1. Regular controlled burns of the entire region prone to natural wildfires – remove the fuel”

    Some interesting tree ring research was done a few years back in the forests around Camp Frank Rand in New Mexico, which should that historically there had been forest fires about every 9 years on average. Further research showed that these fires had been deliberately set by the natives as part of a hunting strategy — set fires in a selected area in the fall; lots of fresh new growth in the spring to attract animals to where the hunters waited.

    These regular fires were mostly low intensity and had the side effect of keeping the forests clean and healthy. But this native hunting practice died out at the end of the 19th Century, and now the forests are overgrown and at high risk of catastrophic fires.

    A modern version could include hand clearing the undergrowth and using the slash as fuel in electric generating plants — carbon neutral, since the forests are going to burn anyway. It would also create work for some of those people whose jobs have been sent to China as part of the Free Trade movement.

  11. Here’s a joke going around the Web:
    Q. Why is California different from the Titanic?
    A. The Titanic had lights on when it went under.

  12. I was in the Canadian Rockies a few years ago and at a museum on the gold rush there were some tree ring segments and commentary that fires had occurred more often before people turned up.
    At the time there was a massive ecofreakout over lots of wildfires for the second year in a row and this was the ‘new normal’ funnily enough next year and year after have been very low wildfires

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *