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Posted: 6/7/2001 7:43:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/7/2001 7:42:20 PM EDT by PeaShooter]
Taxpayer Group Names California Gov. Davis 'Porker of the Month' Friday, June 8, 2001 A taxpayer watchdog group has named California Gov. Gray Davis as the "Porker of the Month." The group Citizens Against Government Waste said Davis deserved the award because of his "incessant whining" about the decision of the Bush White not to impose federal price controls on wholesale energy markets. CAGW said Davis, a Democrat, has earned the Porker of the Month title for his advocacy of price controls, lawsuits and subsidies; and for "being in the dark about basic economics, while keeping millions of Californians in the dark with him and for playing finger pointing politics with California's energy crisis." "Last year," the CAGW statement said, "Davis was so concerned about his populist reputation that he refused to raise consumer energy rates until it was too late. Upon waking up and noticing the lights were off, he flushed the state's entire budget surplus down the drain attempting to subsidize consumers. If Davis had uncapped consumer energy prices sooner, the major crisis could have been averted." Davis pointed fingers, the group said, blaming his problems on predecessor (Republican Pete Wilson) for not building power plants, Texas energy producers for gouging prices and the Bush administration. "He is now spending $30,000 a month in state funds to retain two former Gore staffers, known for their scorched-earth attacks to shift blame away from himself and onto Bush," CAGW said. Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for Davis, called Citizens Against Government Waste "an organization that has none of the facts and all the press releases, and we're not interested in commenting on something that's not rooted in any fact." Davis said earlier this week in Sacramento that California's electricity costs were "dropping substantially." He has asked state legislators for an additional half-billion dollars for power purchases. Meanwhile, the Orange County Register reported Wednesday that a California Senate committee today will demand that the state release its own confidential bidding data and all internal memos detailing its $7 billion in electricity purchases. If the California Department of Water Resources refuses to turn over the documents, the Senate Rules Committee has vowed to issue a subpoena by June 15 to force the issue. Davis has fiercely fought the release of such information because he says power generators could use the fresh data to further drive up prices.
Link Posted: 6/7/2001 7:44:14 PM EDT
He is expected to fight the data request, which is being made on behalf of a special Senate committee that is investigating allegations of price gouging and collusion by power generators. Officials in the Department of Water Resources answer to the Davis administration, and it's unclear whether a Senate subpoena could alter that power dynamic, the paper said. Sen. Ross Johnson, vice chairman of the state Senate Rules Committee, said the information must be disclosed promptly because so much public money is involved in the purchases. He does not believe the state's negotiating abilities will be hurt. "It's a pretty small world. While [power producers] might not know the precise price down to the last cent, they have a pretty good idea of what's going on, and that's wrong. The only people who are in the dark on this are the taxpayers, ratepayers and the elected representatives,'' Johnson said. The Rules Committee on Wednesday also issued subpoenas to eight out-of-state power generators for financial documents involving the sale of energy to the state. The subpoenas were issued to Reliant Energy, NRG Energy Inc., Dynegy Energy Services Inc., Williams Energy, AES Corp., Enron Corp., Duke Energy and Mirant Inc. "We've been cooperating with a number of agencies. We'll look at the subpoena, and we will respond,'' said Duke Energy spokesman Tom Williams, adding that the accusations of price-fixing are inaccurate. "Any contention that we've been withholding power is preposterous," he said.
Link Posted: 6/7/2001 7:48:38 PM EDT
One of the first things you learn in an economics class is: price caps cause shortages. Using price caps to avert shortages is like using gasoline to put out a fire. Oil prices are high today, were high in 1990/1991, and high in the late 70's. Yet only in the 70's did we have shortages and lines at the fuel pumps. Who can tell me why that was?
Link Posted: 6/7/2001 7:49:37 PM EDT
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