SoCal Power Blackout Highlights Capitol Energy Conflict

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, August 26, 2005

L A Department of Water and Power officials have determined that it was a faulty oil flow sensor that triggered the power line shutdown and rolling blackouts that affected half a million Southern California Edison customers. For Democrats in the state legislature, it was an example of what’s wrong with state energy policy. Assembly Utilities Committee chairman Lloyd Levine says the governor’s plan to create a state Department of Energy, which was rejected by the state Senate, does nothing to address ongoing problems. "What we really need to focus on is not rearranging the deck chairs, but putting steel in the ground, building power plants, and building transmission lines so that when one line goes down we can re-route that."
 Speaking to reporters Friday at the State Fair, the governor acknowledged the outdated energy system, but said the blackouts were a fluke. "It’s just sometimes when there’s failure of a power line, like they had on the East Coast two years ago, no matter how much energy you have, if you cannot deliver the energy, then you have no power."
 Schwarzenegger has said he’ll push for an energy framework that will encourage investors to build more power plants in the state.