The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

The Phony Electricity Crisis

Jul 30, 2001

In California, the politicians and the electric companies are all patting themselves on the back because there haven’t been any electricity blackouts so far this summer.

What a joke. The entire crisis was phoney to begin with. They pretended that there was an electricity shortage in the middle of the winter and spring, when usage is ordinarily low, in order to justify jacking up our rates to record levels.

They also used the phony shortage to get the state government to sign billion dollar contracts for electricity that lock in record high rates for the next 10 and even 20 years.

Now that our rates are sky high, now that the state treasury is plundered, now suddenly they have discovered that we have more than enough electricity. They say that we even have an electricity surplus!

Sure we do. But consumers are paying double for a basic commodity that we can’t do without. Poor people are having to choose between paying for food, rent and the utilities. The state, which used to have a surplus, now has no money–again–to put into our basic services, like education, health care, or public parks.

This is nothing but highway robbery. And it isn’t nearly over. The big utility companies, Southern California Edison, PG&E, and San Diego Electric and Gas, are all demanding multi-billion dollar bailouts, even while they pay record salary increases to their top executives. Wall Street financiers are looking to make a bundle on the sale of state bonds to cover the government’s costs to pay for all the electricity. To fund all this, electric rates may easily go up again.

Yet, no one demands that this swindle stops!!!