During a mid-August heatwave, California utilities were forced to shut off electricity to several hundred thousand customers. In this episode, Robert talks to Lee Cordner, a former Pacific Gas & Electric engineer and long-time energy consultant, about the cause of the blackouts, the myriad problems facing the California electric grid, and why the state needs to keep its nuclear and natural gas-fired power plants operating if it wants to keep the lights on.

Episode Transcript

Robert Bryce  0:05  

Hi, and welcome to the power hungry podcast. I’m your host Robert Bryce. On this podcast we talk about energy, power, innovation and politics. And today, my guest is my friend Lee coordinator, who is a longtime energy consultant in California, former pg&e employee, who’s now in Oregon Lee. Hi.

Lee Cordner  0:25  

Hi Robert, how are you?

Robert Bryce  0:27  

I’m, well, I’m well, thank you. We’re going to talk about the California blackouts today, because this is very much in the news. And Lee has one of the most some of the most informed opinions on and views on the blackouts in California of anyone that I know of leave. What I like to do on this podcast is to have guests introduce themselves. Now I’ve teased your bona fides here a little bit, but if you don’t mind, would you introduce yourself to tell people why why you’re on this prestigious project. Cast? Yes.

Lee Cordner  1:03  

I’d be happy to. Thank you. I worked for pg&e for about 15 years, I did a lot of grid engineering.

You know, distribution, engineering, that kind of stuff. I left pg&e in the early 90s. And have since been an energy consultant, kind of an independent energy consultant. Doing things like developing new power plants interconnecting renewables to the power grid. So all of the kind of studies and engineering contracts that it has taken over the last 15 years in California to get to where they are now, which is about 30% renewable power, and so very familiar with state issues. I’m very familiar with how things work. I’m a pretty good guy, if you’re going to turn yourself in that 500,000 volt substation, I’m a good guy to bring along

Robert Bryce  1:59  

and you’re amazing. engineer by training is that right? Yeah. And and your electrical engineering or where did you jump me and remind me I know we’ve talked about this a long time ago.

Lee Cordner  2:09  

I’ve worked as an electrical engineer and for, you know, our electric business for a long time there, people will tell you that if you’re not trained in electrical engineering, you’re not really one. And there, you know, there’s some truth to that, but I think I’ve gotten long over the years, you know, with the amount of electrical engineering pick up.

Robert Bryce  2:31  

Okay, got it. Good. Well, so let’s, let’s push on and talk about what’s going on in California. So, the obvious question I want to ask and there’s been a lot of reporting on this, but why are these blackouts happening?

Lee Cordner  2:45  


they’re happening because

Unknown Speaker  2:49  

the sun goes down.

Lee Cordner  2:50  

I mean, that’s about as simple as it gets. But since the sun has been busy, especially in California with their 100 110 degree weather The sun warms up to the buildings. And so when the sun goes down, people don’t switch their air conditioning off. As a matter of fact, the peak load occurs from about seven o’clock at night, long after the solar panels have stopped making electricity. The California ISO causes the duck curve. And if you look at the curve of the load in California, it’s something like resembles a duck. Because right as the sun goes down, a huge peak starts to build up and it sort of looks like the back of a duck and then the ducks head. The problem is when solar shuts off because California is now so reliant on solar until it shuts off, there’s really nothing to replace it. And so they scramble they buy from other states. They try to, you know, get all the gas plants going. You know, they run the nuke as hard as it will go the one remaining California nuclear plant, but it’s not enough I think Since there’s a wide ranging heatwave over the West, none of the other states have power to sell. They need all of theirs because their air conditioning load is high too.

Robert Bryce  4:10  

So and that’s a key point as well. But California imports 25% of its electricity roughly. Right. It’s the biggest

Lee Cordner  4:18  


Robert Bryce  4:19  

they but they haven’t been able to import that because other states need all the electricity that they that they have.

Lee Cordner  4:25  


Yeah, absolutely. Right.

Unknown Speaker  4:28  

So but it so I followed the situation in California, I’ve written about it. Some.

Robert Bryce  4:35  

Why aren’t they using more wind energy? What’s the issue in California, they built a lot of solar. But according to what I’ve seen on the California Energy Commission website, essentially no new wind capacity has been built in the state since 2013. Why?

Lee Cordner  4:53  

wind is even less reliable than solar. And

it’s hard to say but I kinda It’s more expensive, it’s really kind of easy to plunk down or solar field. I mean, you’ve got that huge Mojave desert area that just begging for solar power, and there’s a lot of it out there. So it’s cheap and easy to plunk down solar in the hot parts of California, wind is much more difficult to develop, you have to find a place where the wind blows all the time. And, and you know, and then when you get to selling when, I mean, when tends to be 25 to 30%. There, you know, capacity factor of wind is lousy, and the capacity factor of solar, maybe not great, but you can count on you can pretty much count on the sun coming up every day. You can’t, you know, depend on the wind blowing in the same direction at the same speed every day doesn’t happen. So we’re always building the grid against the wind. So I think people have just decided solar is better you

Robert Bryce  5:54  

took shortcuts because I would have assumed you were going to say just some of the reporting. I’ve done The key problem with California is the issue of siting that Humboldt County just refused a new wind project. And I think the end of last year, there was a project that was aimed for an area near Lompoc, that was also turned down, that I thought you’re gonna say was about sighting of the wind projects, you’re saying that developers are just deciding it’s not as valuable to them?

Lee Cordner  6:24  

Yeah, I think so.

You know, the my experience with a kayak California so certainly suggests that they favor you know, solar development over wind as far as grid operations is concerned. I mean, they can’t discriminate against, you know, one thing or another, but they like solar because it’s dependable, but I do take your comments about citing as I mean, the neighbors hate that stuff. You know, they don’t want to be around wind turbines, and there’s a lot of resistance there. So it’s probably a combination of the two things.

Robert Bryce  6:55  

So well, let’s talk about citing as well in terms of transmission because that’s the other big Land Use challenge all across the country. But how important is the is the lack of new transmission in California? For some of these, these issues with relate related to the blackouts how, what role is transmission playing here?

Lee Cordner  7:16  

Well it I mean, as far as the blackouts go, I think transmission is secondary in terms of what’s causing the current rolling blackouts. But in terms of California getting from 30%, renewables to 50%, or to 100%, renewables is where they want to go. It’s absolutely critical and very, very expensive and time consuming. So if you were a solar developer and you wanted to put a 300 megawatt plant in California today, there’s so much to be done to the grid, and so little resource kind of available to do it. That It will, the lead times are ridiculous. And the expense of that is ridiculous, which also plays into I know, we’re going to talk a little bit more about the rate situation in California. And this mean to reinforce and enlarge the power grid. It plays into why rates are so high and why they’re going to get higher as well. The infrastructure wasn’t built for this and basically has to be re engineered and rebuilt in order to allow more renewables there at the

Robert Bryce  8:36  

moment. So you’re saying that for California, then to achieve the renewable goals that it set and they’re closing the Diablo mint, you mentioned the Diablo Canyon nuclear plants, so that’s 2400 megawatts, something like that of capacity, baseload capacity, that’s all going to go away. Beginning. How soon is that point? Yeah.

Lee Cordner  8:57  

Next year.

Robert Bryce  8:58  

Next year. I thought it was 22 24 but they’re gonna do this sooner.

Lee Cordner  9:01  

Maybe it is. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. I know they’re, they’re fit. Yeah, probably. That’s right. That’s right. I was thinking about the gas plants on the coast. So those are scheduled to go in 2021. And Diablo Canyon is scheduled to come offline in 2024.

Robert Bryce  9:18  

Well, so I was looking at the CDC website, the status has already retired a lot of gas fired capacity just in the last few years. So how important is that in terms of this shortfall in power over the last few days? How, how critical is that lack of gas fired capacity?

Lee Cordner  9:37  

if there hadn’t, if they hadn’t done if they hadn’t taken all those gas plants out of service, there wouldn’t have been an emergency gas plants would have carried it. So it not only is it kind of, I mean, some of those were taken off through the actions of the California government including the ISO But a lot of them are abandoned because the operators couldn’t make any money. They were never called on to operate, you know, most days, you don’t need them. When you do need them, they’re absolutely critical. It’s either keep them around and pay them not to operate, you know, most of the days or the through these rotating blackouts, which will become worse in the future because of what you just said that, you know, removing Diablo Canyon from the grid removing the coastal gas plants. Not only do that, does that cause a shortage of power, but since the renewable power is far away of the middle of desert in the mountains, there’s also a transmission issue of how do you get that power over the mountains into the LA basin or into San Francisco when it really isn’t transmission capacity to do it. So they’re jumping the gun here. Really I get those people gas plants around and pay them whatever they need to stay in business until the transmission infrastructure is there until the battery’s there, until there’s enough solar and wind to carry the entire state and enough transmission to get it into the load centers. You know, you’ve really got cart before the horse here, they’re really 10 years ahead of where they think they’re.

Unknown Speaker  11:25  

So this is just all result of bad policy.

Lee Cordner  11:28  

Yeah, it’s, it’s, you know, politicians love utilities, and especially agendas without raising taxes, you can just raise utility rates, you know, make them do it. So, this goes back to kind of the earliest, you know, 1970s energy conservation programs, which ratepayers paid for, whether they wanted to or not, you know, and then you can follow that train along into renewable energy. You can follow along fire policy where they made you know, utilities viable Her, you know, for the damage from fires to the, you know, experiment that they did with deregulating power business, which resulted in pg&e going bankrupt the first time. And so you know, it’s just it’s just been a cascading series of bad policy decisions have gotten us to where we are, which is, you know, California pays three times as much as many other states for electricity, and, oh, when you need it, they’ll turn it up.

I just can’t imagine a worse scenario, basically.

Robert Bryce  12:35  

So something that just pops in my head and maybe we’ll, I’ll just put it out there. So my first book was on Enron now 20 years ago, almost 20 years ago. And the you know, the always the question was, Why did bankrupt Why did Enron go bankrupt? Well, they run out of money. Why are the blackouts happening in California because they don’t have enough power? Yeah, but that lack of sufficient electricity is already result of years of miscalculation Miss reading the market. But I mean, who’s to blame here? I guess is the the other question I’m just I really want to hear your your answer to

Lee Cordner  13:12  

the short answer, Robert is that the California legislature, they basically took over and, you know, started issuing mandates to the regulatory agencies, the Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission and the California so mostly to do with number one experimenting with the deregulated market. And number two more recently, again, being that renewable power take priority above all else, that, you know, they, I think the regulator’s themselves, if left to their own devices do a pretty good job, you know, they got a couple of things wrong, but by and large, you know, they do compromise this and they keep the thing going when legendary Nature got into it did things like, you know, at the expense of grid reliability, they started building massive infrastructure process or forcing the utilities to do that building huge infrastructure projects to see

Robert Bryce  14:17  

if I could interrupt. So you said the legislature is to blame it ultimately. And but then so the utilities and the regulators are just trying to accommodate what the legislature said. Is that fair?

Lee Cordner  14:29  

Yeah, yeah, that legislators, legislators hand out mandates, you know, in terms of California law that says we will have 30% renewables. So the regulator’s take that and run with it and whatever else has to be cut, whether it’s grid reliability or financial decisions, they go with the legislature, they don’t try to be reasonable. So that has resulted, I think, in pg&e Edison and San Diego Gas electric to some extent, not spending enough money on maintenance, spending the money instead on building new infrastructure to pick up and deliver renewable power. And I think if you look at the real reason for the failure of the PGA equipment that caused the California fires and got PGA and so much financial trouble, it was mandates from the regulators based on mandates from the legislature that caused them to make bad decisions with regard to grid reliability and deferred maintenance.

Robert Bryce  15:37  

So that climate change became a priority over reliability. Is that fair? Is that a fair?

Lee Cordner  15:43  

Absolutely. That’s a great way to say it. Yeah. And it’s still there. I mean, if you read the news, clippings on what the experts in the state government are saying, they’re what they want to double down. Hey, you know, they’re not seeing this rotating. blackout thing as the problem, they’re seeing it as a call to action to build more batteries and more solar and get rid of more gas plants, because that’s the way to fix the climate. So it’s not gonna change. You’re doing the same thing.

Robert Bryce  16:15  

So you’re so you think the problem only gets worse from here? Is that is that what you’re saying?

Lee Cordner  16:20  

Yeah, well, yeah, it does. I think that when you

Robert Bryce  16:24  

try for you, because you left California limit?

Lee Cordner  16:27  

Yes, this is one of the reasons. They, I think, if you look at not only the political situation, but also the situation with regard to, you know, losing more gas and nuclear generation, you know, grid reliability is going to be the casualty in all those decisions that you won’t have the ability to keep the grid up and functioning on most days. If they get rid of all that, you know, convention. Generation you’ll have a reliability situation much like Haiti or the Republic of the Congo or something like that where the power is on, you know, sporadically. I can actually see that happen in California if they stay on this path.

Robert Bryce  17:15  

You think it could? Well, I mean, that’s, that’s that’s grim. I mean, that’s a really grim outlook, but that’s what you’re, but reliabilities just been pushed aside in favor of climate policy.

Lee Cordner  17:27  


And they’re not getting the point from these current from the current situation.

Robert Bryce  17:34  

So you mentioned rates before so if memory serves since 2013 or so California’s electric rates have gone up at a rate six times that of in residential? Well, I guess overall rates six times out of the rest of the United States. latest numbers show that those rates are going even higher. Will the rate will California electric rates continue upward? And if so why?

Lee Cordner  17:59  

Yes, and upward at a greater rate than what you’ve seen in the past.

Unknown Speaker  18:04  

Really? Yeah. Substantial, substantially faster.

Lee Cordner  18:08  

Yes. It. I mean, again, my comments are predicated on California is continuing to vote people into office who are dedicated to renewable power, etc, etc. So if we stay on the same path in California, and here’s what I think is gonna happen. At 30% renewables, you didn’t have to fool around with the grid too much to interconnect enough renewables to get to 30%. And now the grid is full, there’s no more extra capacity. So you have to start building extra capacity into the grid. And that’s not cheap. I would imagine it will be hundreds of billions of dollars in grid upgrades by the time you get to, you know, 50 75% renewable This, the first step of this has been very easy, this next step is going to be tremendously expensive and tremendously time consuming. The other thing that I think will drive rates up is better is that as, as we’ve seen with the rotating blackouts, you need some other source of power when the sun goes down. And right now we’re relying to some extent on gas and nuclear, but when that’s gone, you’ll need batteries. And I don’t think anyone really has a sense of how many batteries you need. Not only do you need batteries, but you need extra solar and wind to charge those batteries at the same time that you’re running the grid. So you basically need to double the amount of solar that is out there now and use that doubled amount to charge batteries while the sun is up so the batteries can be drained when the sun goes down. And Sunday, sometimes you go week without too much sun or too much when. So you can have batteries that last a week. I don’t know if there’s any such thing. I don’t think there is. Supposing they can be built, they won’t be cheap. But you have to have that kind of capacity in batteries. So between who’s and who pay and who pays for that. Well, the ratepayers. I mean, you know, there’s no big sack of money here, the ratepayers gonna pay for that, unless, unless the $3 trillion, you know, basket from the feds comes through for the green New Deal. I think it will take a trillion dollars to get California to 100%.

Robert Bryce  20:40  

And if that one trillion for California alone,

Lee Cordner  20:44  

Yes, I think so.

Robert Bryce  20:45  

And, and you just need your back of the envelope calculations you’ve done by on your own. Yes,

Lee Cordner  20:52  

I know how much your battery costs. You know, I know how much crude upgrades cost. I mean, it’s not a difficult calculation to make wouldn’t give myself more than, you know, 60 to 70% accuracy. But even if I’m half wrong, still half trillion dollars. I think it does do that, you know, if you if you just do the ratemaking calculation and try to figure out how much it costs for per month to have electricity in a one bedroom apartment that’s 100%, renewable, and fairly reliable. It’s about 20 $500 a month for a one bedroom apartment.

Robert Bryce  21:27  

If you add on that those costs that you just laid out. Yes. Yeah. Wow. If you say, Yes,

Lee Cordner  21:35  

yeah. And you know, the costs are pretty easy to come by. And there’s a great YouTube video that we could link to cut from real engineering called Getting California to 100%. And they do a very a much more detailed calculation than I do, but we come to the close.

Unknown Speaker  21:56  

But it’s similar similar order of magnitude. Yes.

Lee Cordner  21:59  

They didn’t do the Making calculation. I did that I just took the number of kilowatt hours and number of customers and, you know, pretty simple if you can do division, you can come up with how much a month, you know, so

Robert Bryce  22:13  

Well, I mean, this is a really I mean, frankly very depressing kind of Outlook. I mean, just that if these blackouts are happening now, and in fact, there was just a report came out from a company or outfit I’d never heard of called rewiring America that says electrify everything and there, they claimed, oh, we can do this all across the country in 15 years, World War Two style mobilization, we can convert everything to renewables, there was no calculation on land use Not a single one, which stuck stuck in my craw. But nevertheless, the whole thing was based on Oh, we can do this and it’s not going to be that hard. A year. What do you What’s your reply to that?

Lee Cordner  22:56  

Well, you know, I guess you can pretty much do anything For money.

Unknown Speaker  23:02  

Yeah, but if you have enough money, anything is possible.

Lee Cordner  23:05  

It’s possible, you know? Yeah. Okay. They didn’t give you a price tag, I’m sure. You know, and I always question people who hadn’t get into our business for a while, when they start making assumptions, you know, they the assumptions never really include the true cost of storage. I mean, that’s just that seems to be ignored. You know, the fact that in New York in the winter, you’re going to have to store solar power from last summer and using it in March. How do you do that? So I think the costs of this thing are, you know, grossly underestimated. I don’t think the green new deals $3 trillion will get the whole country to 20%

Robert Bryce  24:02  

sobering I mean, it’s really sobering. Yeah, I mean, and, and what I’m hearing you say without saying it is you’re glad you moved out of California and moved to Oregon.

Lee Cordner  24:14  

Oregon’s a little more sane, you know, we, we get 2% of our power from renewables, and a whole bunch from coal and a whole bunch from hydro. So yeah, we’ve got a long ways to go before we get that crazy. But yeah, I know the prices reflected power here is cheap.

Robert Bryce  24:32  

So what’s next then? I mean, do you? I mean, how hopeful Are you that that California policymakers are going to understand or see this? These blackouts is a time where we need to really reconsider here what what what do you think?

Lee Cordner  24:48  

Well, some of them start losing elections. I don’t think it’ll, I don’t think it’ll change till then. And there. You know. I mean, if you if you take a look at this story of developing renewable energy, there’s been no hand wringing pearl clutching going on now for 30 years. And what have we accomplished? You know, about three or 4% of the power and power and fossil fuel that we use the United States now comes from renewable energy. So 30 years, very concerned about this. What have we accomplished? 3%? So is renewable energy important for getting democrats elected? It most certainly is. But if you look at what we’ve accomplished, in terms of installing and utilizing renewable energy, I have to question that, you know, do people really, do we really think it’s important or are we just having fun with it?

Robert Bryce  25:46  

So I mean, that’s a really

Lee Cordner  25:48  

big old engineer who’s connecting power and every day, it’s very clear that the scale of this thing is going to be extremely difficult to manage

Robert Bryce  26:00  

Well, you made a very political statement there though about that is renewable energy important. You said for electing democrats it is

Unknown Speaker  26:06  

is vital for vital for Democrats,

Lee Cordner  26:10  

Democrats. But if you actually look at the accomplishment, you know, the fact that we’ve been at this for 30 years, we just haven’t done much you know, once all the hand wringing about it only serious Nutter

Robert Bryce  26:24  

simple question really what what will it take to solve this what what needs to happen in California now for the state to have to get back to reliable electricity now after 20 years after Enron after now this the series of blackouts what needs to happen?

Lee Cordner  26:41  

Well, they think they have to change course. Basically, they have to, you know, leave Diablo Canyon operating. They have to come up with some sort of way to keep the gas plants online and profitable so that people don’t just walk away from them. And probably they need to add more gas peaking plants and more gas resources in order to cover situations like this. And I’m not saying that you can never get to 50% renewables. But I do think you have to rearrange the priorities to say, let’s get to the 50% renewables, and then shut down the gas plants, you know, you can just hook up all of this renewable power and get rid of the conventional generation just crush your fingers, that everything’s gonna work. It’s like some crazy science fair experiment where you just say a call, right? You know, this should work. And when it doesn’t, then you have people out of power. You have people, you know, on life support systems that you know, can’t get by and, you know, were they supposed to do by a generator, were supposed to run down to Home Depot and get a generator and plug that in, you know, breathing machine into that. It’s it’s really helpful. stakes gamble to do what they’re doing, just assume that renewable power on its own is going to be sufficient

to carry

the grid in a reliable manner.

It’s just not gonna work.

Robert Bryce  28:14  

So our I’m gonna paraphrase what you just said and feed it back to you. But so California politicians and you’ve talked about the legislature, the legislature is just effectively gambling with the future economy of the state by gambling on renewables. Is that is that what I’ve heard you say?

Lee Cordner  28:35  

Well, they think they’re saving us from global warming. But yes, I’d say that statement was cracked and they are willing to gamble reliability for, you know, the benefits of being more in line with climate action. That’s fair.

Robert Bryce  28:56  

So you sound like I mean, I’m gonna just say it out loud. You sound like a partisan, you said renewables or is renewable energy important? You said for electing democrats? It is are you republican? How do your politics line out here?

Lee Cordner  29:11  


I live in Oregon, so I can’t really say I am a Republican. But I do think that in terms of energy policy, things really started to go south when the democrats got a super majority. And in both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office in California now, there’s nobody to say no. And if the republicans hadn’t supermajority and the governor ship I knew worried about that, too. You know, I think that somehow or other you have to achieve a balance or things are not the rails and California hasn’t had a balance for 15 years and things are pretty much right off the wrist.

Robert Bryce  29:56  

So Are you hopeful at all that this can correct in the next few years? Or do you think it’s just gonna have to get a lot worse?

Lee Cordner  30:04  

I think I think it’s going to have to get a lot worse. But I do think that at some point, the voters are going to jump into this and say, wait a minute, we’re gonna elect you. If you don’t take care of this problem, you know, can you have bankrupt utilities? Yeah. people out of service for days in the hottest part of the summer and the winds blowing because of the fire might start. You have rolling blackouts? I don’t know what else it takes, you know, when, what else are the good citizens in California going to be willing to endure before they either, you know, sort of change their political view or or leave and leave, a lot of them are leaving. So you know, it’s actually funny to train to read. A u haul trailer in California is almost impossible. But if you want to rent a u haul trailer here in Oregon and take it to California, they’ll practically give it to you for free.

Unknown Speaker  31:01  


Robert Bryce  31:03  

I mean, it’s a little depressing. It’s a little depressing to hear you your your view on this. But that, that, but you’re saying this as someone who’s seen this now for four decades, you left the state in part because of what you saw.

Lee Cordner  31:15  


Robert Bryce  31:19  

let me ask you one last thing. So if if they really wanted to reduce co2 emissions, would the state be adding nuclear what would be the best way for the state of California to pursue, given the constraints we talked about on Transmission that constraints on wind? If the state wanted to pursue a lower carbon future? Should nuclear be a big bigger part of that?

Lee Cordner  31:41  

nuclear should be a bigger part of it?

It strikes me that there are two ways to go to a, you know, less carbon intensive future. One way is nuclear power in conjunction with however much wind and solar they want, you know, okay. As long as you can keep the lights on and nuclear power be a big part of that, or to get sort of draconian about rationing. And maybe if you kind of look at the gasoline situation and the public and the, you know, grid power situation in California, there’s clearly an agenda there to make both of those commodities as expensive as possible. And it’s worth it. It’s getting really expensive to buy gas or buy power in California. And so I think that’s the kind of drive conservation to some extent, there’s real agenda there that says, gee, if we make it really expensive, maybe people won’t use so much of it.

Why not take that step? Why don’t we ration that? Why don’t we limit the amount of,

you know, Jet travel? Why don’t we ration gasoline? Why don’t we rational electricity? Why don’t we just, you know,


Robert Bryce  33:00  

That seems to me that that that’s a winning strategy for losing. If you’re a politician. Yeah,

Lee Cordner  33:07  

yeah. inconvenience of voters, right. That’ll get you a real. Yeah.

Robert Bryce  33:10  

Well, so but what about the regressive part of that because of we can maybe end with this, but I’ve written about this deeply concerns me because of just the social equity issue here. But what But how? Well, let me ask the question, how does social justice then we’ve hear about environmental justice, social justice, inequality. How is that playing out in energy politics in California, in your view?

Lee Cordner  33:37  

Well, I think if you make gasoline and power more expensive than the people who earn less money, are the ones that are going to be hurt by it, right? I mean, when gas got to be oil got to be $150 a barrel. You could see the change in traffic patterns on the LA freeways. You know, it knocked the bottom 10% right. off of right out of the traffic pattern, I mean, people couldn’t afford to drive. So who was it that couldn’t afford to try it? Well, you know, minimum wage folks that had to get to work somehow, you know what I mean? It’s sort of those are the victims of expensive. And that’s, you know, the, those of us who are a little more fortunate, maybe have a few more bucks in the checking account. It doesn’t bother us so much to pay 567

dollars a gallon for gasoline.

But if you’re making 15 bucks an hour, it gets your attention. You just can’t do what you want to do. You can’t get to work. So, you know, social justice doesn’t seem to be served by making things more expensive.

Robert Bryce  34:46  

But it could, as you said, in a somewhat Well, I won’t say cynical, but realistic way if you really want to cut co2 emissions, really limit the amount of energy people can use. That’s the other way to get it done. Right.

Lee Cordner  34:57  

Yeah. Yeah. I think you know, if you ration and everybody gets the same share, don’t they? Whatever the press, the government says,

Robert Bryce  35:06  

Well, why don’t we end it there? Lee, you’ve been very kind with your time. This has been very educational about what’s going on in California and why these blackouts are happening. So, let me let me end it with with with that one. So thank you all for listening to this is a special recording of the power hungry podcast. My guest is my guest been lead coordinator, former pg&e employee and longtime energy consultant in the state of California Lee, thank you for your time. today. I may check on you again to where we have more more blackouts. We’ll check in again. So thanks to all of you again for listening to power hungry podcast. Tune in subscribe, rate us on rate this podcast.com and tune in, tune in to the next episode. Thanks again. Bye

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