It looks to me like any long term big deal involving a lot of money and people can become corrupt sooner or later… often sooner. If the social structure driving the long term big deal is powered mainly by the profit motive, it’s already corrupt in terms of social justice before you do anything.
DISCLAIMER: The people who work for PG&E anywhere but at the very top do not make and are not responsible for PG&E policy. Don’t take it out on them, please.
So PG&E is a construct to make money for its shareholders through an energy monopoly. It holds much of California hostage to this single end, to create fortunes for shareholders. According to John Olmstead, it was designed by three guys over drinks one Sunday on a riverside porch near Smartsville. Until recently, It worked well for the shareholders. It is expensive and progressively, even catastrophically dysfunctional for the consumer. The shareholders have sucked it dry and want us to pump it up again so they can suck it dry again.
I think we can leave PG&E to our Governor and Attorney General and we can shift our gaze to how rural electrical cooperatives have worked and are working ever since Roosevelt’s “New Deal” for places similar to Western Nevada County … a few medium and smaller towns and lots of rural life spread around the foothills of, in this case, one of the world’s mightier mountain ranges which endlessly pours copious amounts of rushing water down it’s innumerable canyons for us to interact with,
Don’t need PG&E.
Next question… NID wants to become the “facilitator” of this process to free us from energy bondage to a large corporation. Why should we trust NID to behave any better or smarter than PG&E?
We need help from rural electrical cooperative pros and such others as we discover along our path; the folk who make and run rural electrification systems… the data is readily available. Size us up and show us how its done. Bring the Board of Supervisors and all the players together before anybody gets a bit of control over the process. NID is looking to increase its turf. Nothing wrong with that. That’s what organizations like that do. Before we make them communications czar of the process, which is a very powerful position in the early stages of a project, we need to scrutinize them as well. NID sells us the water that flows down the mountainside. They didn’t make it. How came they to own it and sell it? I bet there’s large stacks of incomprehensible legalese to explain that one. Because they caught it in a ditch? The main ditches were already there when NID came along. How did they come to own the ditch system? Which by the way is a terrible scar on the mountains.
Enough said. I am not a fan. Even were I a fan, having the local water monopoly design our freedom from an electrical monopoly doesn’t make sense. we don’t need PG&E or NID. Of course NID will be a player, on a level playing field with the rest of us. We need each other… first in conversation for possibility and then for collaboration in action, beginning with design of experiment methodology to decide for and among ourselves how best to take the power crucial to so many aspects of our lives into our own responsible and capable hands.
Let’s not get in a hurry. We have hurried to where we are now. Looks a lot like a wreck to me. Let’s not hurt ourselves even more by crawling out of the wreck into a lion’s mouth! Hold off on letting NID run with this. Let’s take more responsibility for our own well being! We can do it!