Focus Point - Fixing CaliforniaCommentary by Pete du Pont
February 22, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Now that California has hit the wall with rolling blackouts, demonized out-of-state power companies and the state has decided to do what it should have done a decade ago: Build some power plants, my reaction is, we'll see.
While the state's regulatory commission has given the ok for ten new plants, it will be years before they generate so much as a watt. Applications take a year to get vetted - as opposed to three months in Texas. According to Forbes, there can be as many as 17 environmental and other assessments, causing ancillary costs of up to $30 million per project - compared to a million in Texas, which, by the way, has built nine major plants in ten years.
Calfornia got itself into this fix by avoiding the obvious. Over the last decade population went up 14 percent, power demands 19 percent, and not one new plant was built. Hence, darkness.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the XFL and the end of life as we know it.