There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth last month as Californians in the San Francisco Bay area had to withstand days of electrical blackouts. Northern California utility Pacific Gas & Electricity (PG&E) shut off distribution to hundreds of thousands of households in an attempt to forestall the possibility of wildfires.
PG&E power cables had been implicated as the cause of severe wildfires last year in California, so the company adopted a policy to shut down power at times of heightened wildfire risk. That includes periods of low humidity, high temperatures, and strong winds.
The power shutoff was supposed to minimize or eliminate the risk of wildfires, but it didn’t work. Both northern and southern California are now suffering numerous wildfires, with power lines as their cause and strong Santa Ana winds helping the blazes spread and grow.
In PG&E’s case, the company’s decision to cut off power only included distribution lines, and not long-distance transmission lines. Those lines may have been responsible for the most recent wildfire in Sonoma County, giving northern Californians even more reason to be upset at the utility.
In southern California, the Getty wildfire in Los Angeles was caused by a branch driven into power lines by strong winds. The resultant arcing caused that fire to start. Tens of thousands of Southern California Edison customers in southern California had their electricity shut off as a result, with hundreds of thousands more under consideration of having their electricity shut off.
It appears that this will be the new normal in California, which increasingly looks like a Third World sh*thole, to borrow a phrase from President Trump. Yes, the weather may be beautiful most of the time, but who would really want to live there and put down roots?
With human feces filling the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco, typhoid fever in LA, earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, electricity blackouts, sky-high taxes, and the highest poverty levels in the country, California is becoming a less and less pleasant place to live every day. Many Californians have already pulled up their stakes and moved out, and many more will do so in the future.