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bring on the theories!

Great comic from Cox & Forkum today.

In answer to the question the strip asks (any way can blame this on Bush?), the bats are it already:

This column on how Bush is at fault and this Indymedia post:

Maybe it's just a failed attempt by the electric companies to create a fake power shortage in order to ramp up electric rates, like Enron and the California electric companies pulled a while back, robbing the people of California of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Of course, there's always the lovely Democratic Underground, the mossy basement of the internet where conspiracy theories grow and are nutured.

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» Power To The People Yo from DiVERSiONZ
What, did Homer Simpson have his first day on the job at the Niagra Mohawk power plant or something today? [Read More]

» You Need Power to Access the Internet, People! from Plum Crazy
Michele brings to my attention a column by Greg Palast, in which he manages to blame Bush for the fact... [Read More]

Comments

Get th' shotgun, maw! There's moonbats!

Stupid, silly moonbats! To suggest that deregulated electric companies might monkey around with consumers' power supplies in order to make a buck! Just where might we find such a precedent?

Stupid, stupid moonbats! Hit 'em in the head!

Yes, all that cost of lost business will surely help the bottom line! That's brilliant, definitely.

Of course, ConEd could take a moment or two to update their website.....

http://www.coned.com/PublicIssues/

I was in the middle of a similar blackout in California back in 1996. One powerline tripping caused an overload that blew away the West Coast. When the lights went off in NYC yesterday, I figured it wasn't terrorism because they like to kill people . This was too subtle. I never thought of the Bush/Cheney corporate conspiracy cabal because I don't speak moonbat.

My theory is dull, but itís probably the same sort of problem..

http://www.bpa.gov/Corporate/KC/home/keeping/03kc/KC_Reliability.pdf

Just a silly question. I was listening to the radio at lunch and heard O'Reilly's Radio Factor (guest host). The host, John Gibson, said "we've got electricity...the transmitting equipment is working, the phones are working, the air conditioning is working and the elevators are working." Now, as I listened I observed that there was no useful news being presented just taking calls from upset people. Would it not be more socially responsible to turn off all that electricity and let, say, maybe 20,000 homes or so get their power restored? I know its silly but what the heck.

Unfortunately any "they're trying to raise electric costs" is idiotic at best. The entire northeast is a dergulated electricity market. What's more, the better part of the generating capacity is now owned by generating companies that are completely separate from the T&D companies like LIPA, NYPA, and National Grid. Not to mention that the generating plants all have existing power purchase agreements that have set prices for electricity.

When they DO find out what caused this, that company is going to get the shit sued out of them for lost revenues, which will be way up in the billions. I should sue, too, since this little shutdown will push us back from our goals for the year and impact my 2003 incentive bonus. Peckerheads!!!!

If anything, this little fiasco will underline the need for expanding the power grid and generating base in NY and the NE. The way that California ended up so screwed is because they were already at the ragged edge of their power grid and generating capacity, and the situation was ripe for Enron, et al, to take advantage of.

That situation is far from the case now in NY, but this will certainly be the push that moves us further away from the power grid and generating capacity limits. So in fact, it will work AGAINST the liklihood of higher electricity prices. And really, the consumer doesn't bear the brunt of that, anyhow, the T&D companies do, with the benefit going to generating companies like mine WOOHOO, except that for the most part, all our power is already bought and paid for at a set price (DAMN!).

Not to worry. The moonbats are WAY off, this time. Not to mention, how exactly were they to have pulled this off ? Did they cause a lightning strike, or did the Bush administration just bribe some Canadian into opening a few circuits ? Yeah, that's likely.

The cartoon is mildly amusing, mainly because Iíd love to find a way to blame our Supreme Court-appointed Commander in Chief. I was even more amused though by the cartoon page link to a moronic column by Alan Caruba, who thinks environmentalists are to blame (and not just about the blackout, apparently, but about everything). Hey Alan, letís build the power plants next to your house!

Don't forget to blame Canada.

It's BASH CANADA DAY! on my blog.

The persistant refusal of a minority to allow the building or refurbishment of power generating plants is the sole reason for this blackout. Isn't it odd that just two days ago, the Kennedys (heirs of a clan headed by a Nazi lover and known illegal drug pusher) protested the building of a renewal power generation facility. Clean and green, but must be unseen, I guess.

Sorry, Michele, I'm hot and cranky.

As a long time member of the Conspiracy Theorists of America (Detroit Chapter), I wish yall wouldn't associate The Democratic Underground with us hard working LEGITIMATE conspiracy theorists. C'mon guys and gals. They don't even do it right. No ominous moods, no resident expert futurist testimony, etc.

Itís fantastic that Chuck knows the cause of the blackout. Perhaps he should call all the power grid experts being quoted by ABC, the Times, etc., and fill them in, because they havenít figured out the cause yet. They do, however, seem to have an idea of what did NOT cause it: ďÖ electricity capacity was adequate when the blackout hit,Ē according to Michehl Gent, president of NERC, an industry sponsored group that tracks power grids to assure their reliability, as quoted on the Times website.

Well, Jasond, you might wish to remember that in the real world, not that of misapplied labels, a "deregulated" industry isn't generally one stuffed with end-user price-fixing.

Generally.

Cascading occurred. Supply was just sufficient to meet demand, when demand increased. Supply could not match the new demand, and multiple failures then followed. No part of the system had enough capacity to isolate itself and prevent failure completely.

In my area, not all the power went out. Why? The local supply that was designated for our area continued. All parts of the system that depended upon the interconnection failed.

Vermont successfully disconnected itself from the system, and their only outages were in a few areas tied to the Canadian net.

Power is sold regionally, from areas of surplus to areas of need. Most areas of the Northeast are power buyers, not power producers.

Remember that even under deregulation, in New York at least, the government still sets the consumer's price for electricity. Hardly an open and free market. When your sale price is controlled, and your ability to make more product is restricted, you cut costs, payroll and infrastructure repairs and improvements. You can't build new power plants to make your product cheaper or more efficiently because of the "green" approval process that costs millions. You can't refurb your old plants because environmental laws make it too expensive. And the government restricts the costs that you can pass on to your customers.

You are right on, Chuck. Ah, the Kennedys. The chief opposition to the Indian Point plants as well. Nah, those 2000 MW aren't needed, are they?!

You don't need a formal report from NAERC or FERC to know what happened. It is widely believed in the industry that something went wrong with the Canadian grid. When Niagara Mohawk (National Grid) tried to pick it up they failed and sent the NY grid into instability. Those instabilities are what tripped off all the generating plants, Nine Mile Point 1 &2, FitzPatrick, Ginna, IPEC 1 and 2 included.

Good guesses but you`re all wrong.It was indeed a conspiracy.My investigation indicates that around 1600(4 pm)EST millions of bark eating,tree hugging,pot smoking,soap shunning hippies recieved a coded brainwave message from Kween Klinton.Her Imperial Ho-ness commanded that all loyal subjects plug in their electric cars immediatly,which of course for a hippy means anything from right now to next week.
Since there were no protests planned and since hippies don`t work they were all home (or more likely their parents house)they didn`t have their tin foil hats on and it only took them @ 15 minutes to coordinate.Not bad for a bunch of lazy bums.
The reason we have earthquakes is because the Chinese can`t coordinate enough to get ALL their people to jump off chairs at the same time.The best they could do is 1/3 of the population at one time.The damage from that one was significant.

Although probably not the case with yesterday's black out, the "raise the price/game the system" theory does have its precedent, so isn't entirely moonbattery. But there's a lot of huff and puff that goes with it: the suppliers all shout "oops, watch out, we're running out of power, you're going to get black-outs, we've sold all our spare capacity to New Mexico and, er, half our plants are out for scheduled maintenance. If only didn't have that rate cap...".

But sometimes shit just happens. These were not deliberate black-outs, and your power producers did not keep going all the way through selling power at higher rates to other states.

But the Candle Makers? That's where your conspiracy lies...

I still say it`s the hippies,Canadians too,but it`s mostly a hippy plot.
The real world threat as I see it is those damned chair jumping Chinese.If they ever get synchronized we`re doomed!!!

People are still spreading that nonsensical meme about Enron? People, if Enron manipulated the market in California to gouge people, how come they ended up with no money?

What happened in California is that supply outstripped the artificially low (thanks, Dems!) demand, sending wholesale prices up. And then the Grayboy, in his infinite stupidity signed long term contracts at high rates. The agents who negotiated these contracts, as representatives of the state hired by Grayout, were energy executives who owned large chunks of stock in energy companies. Only after Enron became the big news story, did Davis start screaming about Enron in particular and start the big-publicity crap about suing them to get the state's money back (from a bankrupt company!). Just a few more reasons we want to throw his sorry, lying, corrupt ass out of office.

And yes, wholesalers, including Enron, "gouged" (i.e., charged market price) while the prices were high. That's what happens when demand is greater than supply. But take a wild guess which big energy concern charged the highest prices for the excess energy it supplied to the state.

Los Angeles Water and Power, a "public utility".

I wish Palast were the Dean when I went to college, then we could pretend my sophomore and junior year didn't happen (not that my freshman and senior year were that great, 2 of shit still being shit, and all).

hoodie -

The only problem with that theory is that in NY the generation and transmission are owned by separate companies, and neither is owned by just one. Transmission is owned by private and public companies like NYPA, LIPA, and National Grid. Generation is owned by RG&E, Entergy, and Constellation, and some IS owned by NYPA, but the bigger stations that the transmission company - NYPA - owns are Niagara and St. Lawrence, the only two major generating stations that DIDN'T trip offline.

Awfully hard to claim anyone had a vested interested in blacking out their customers in hopes of higher (market driven, btw) electricity prices.

The theory holds no water in NY. None.

Sherard,

I made no such claim. Quite the opposite.

But I did describe what happened here in California not so long ago. Where the deregulated power producers had no ties to each other etc... etc... and where they did play games to our detriment. But there were no surprise blackouts here : they told us they were coming, and made it so.

The NY affair sounded to me from the beginning like it began with an accident that happened on the wrong day, when the God of Murphy felt like some fun.