MORE TROUBLE IN CALIFORNIA, BUT THIS TIME NOT FOR PG&EOctober 31, 2019
As most regular readers of this site know, I've been both fascinated and alarmed at the burning of California, as thousands of victims have lost their homes, and darkly fascinated by the response (such as it is) by the state government, and even more so by the "response" of the power utilities in their new policy of rolling blackouts to protect themselves from further lawsuits. As with the previous fires there have been anomalies already spotted by the ever-vigilant alternative research field.
But today I don't want to focus on those anomalies, nor on the crazy policies that in my opinion have led to all of this, but rather on a new story that casts yet another long shadow over the state:
The crux of the matter is the California's other main power utility, Southern California Edison is now also in the crosshairs:
With California's largest utility, PG&E, now bankrupt after starting the deadliest fire in California history, and cutting power to its customers at the mere hint of a windstorm that could leave it exposed to more multi-billion lawsuits, leaving millions in the dark, California's second largest utility, Edison, may soon be insolvent too.
The stock of Edison International, which is California's second biggest electricity provider through its Southern California Edison subsidiary, which distributes electricity to 5.1 million customers in central, coastal, and southern California, collapsed after the close when the company reported in its earnings call that California investigators concluded equipment owned by Edison International’s utility caused one of the most destructive fires in state history, which killed three people and burned down entire sections of Malibu.
California county fire officials said that the Woolsey Fire, which raged for weeks in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in November 2018, was sparked by the utility’s electrical equipment, Edison CEO Pedro Pizarro said in a call with investors on Tuesday.
EIX shares plunged as much as 19% to $52.75 in after-hours trading before modestly recovering some losses to trade at $62.95. Edison investors had expected the company would be blamed for the fire.
In a previous blog, I speculated on the possibility that the practice of what appears to be disaster capitalism in full swing in California may not be limited just to driving people from their homes through engineered disasters in order to pick up property on the cheap. Additionally, I mused, the target may be the power utility - in this case, PG&E - itself, which has already experienced one bankruptcy because of it. Now, it seems, one might add Southern California Edison to the list.
And that brings me to today's high octane speculation. What if... what if the goal is to create such conditions of chaos in the state, that the whole scenario we see playing out is to drive a situation where - as was alleged in the fires of the immediately previous years - the US military was seen to be present? Admittedly, this scenario is a wild one, right off the end of the speculation twig, as it were. But recently, in an unprecedented move for any leader in his party, Governor Gavin Newsom actually tweeted a think you to Mr. Trump for sending federal disaster funds in the state. And he did so without the usual "digs" that usually accompany such remarks from leaders in his party. Equally strangely, Mr. Newsom was not met with the usual chorus of whining and complaining from the other leaders of his party. His remarks passed almost completely unnoticed.
Perhaps he knows that when any federal monies flow to a state, they usually come with major strings attached, and I'm betting some of those strings might be an overall not only of state environmental policy, but of its two major power utilities.
If I'm right, then we might watch for the presence of federal representatives on the boards of those companies, after the usual purchase of significant enough amounts of equity to warrant it.
And that's a very clever way to bypass Sacramento's lunacy.
I know, I know... it's a really wild high octane speculation, but after all, it's what we do here.
See you on the flip side...