David Brose: Profitability over safety | TheUnion.com

David Brose: Profitability over safety


Have you seen the helicopters and trimming crews clearing power lines and upgrading power equipment? Of course, we all have. Now, how many power outages have we had due to weather this past year? Well, not as much as years past, and repair crews have been pre-staged when circumstances predict disruption. Now, compare California to Texas, where unanticipated winter weather has completely disabled their oft-touted Texas exclusive power grid.

Power generation and transmission, including both gas and electric, have completely failed there with no relief in sight, leaving millions freezing in the dark, businesses shuttered, roads impassable and deaths. The stark difference here between California and Texas is accountability through regulation. Texas completely deregulated power companies, leaving it to “the free market” to regulate itself. The result was grid neglect, failure to plan for possible disruptions and a focus on profitability over safety and reliability.

Gov. Newsom held power companies to account after starting devastating fires costing lives, massive property loss and lack of reliability after years of grid neglect by those companies. Never forget a former PG&E CEO telling customers that long term power shut offs were just going to be the norm for at least a decade, neglecting to commit to grid upgrades, prompting forced action by the state. Yes the long process of grid upgrades are annoying, but certainly worth it to have the reliability and safety we are starting to enjoy. As rate payers we pay for reliable, safe service and do indeed deserve it.

David Brose

Grass Valley

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