California Wildfire Cellular Outages Could Have Been Easily Avoided

from the dysfunction-junction dept

As rolling blackouts and wildfires rattle California this week, many impacted residents are unable to use their cell phones. According to FCC data (pdf), 874 of the state’s 26,000 cell tower sites were out of commission on Monday, up from 630 on Sunday. Of that 874, 702 were caused by a loss of power to the cell site, 88 inoperable towers were due to cut fiber lines leading to the tower, and just 60 were caused by actual wind or fire damage.

It's a problem that could have been avoided. After Hurricane Katrina, in 2008 the FCC passed rules mandating that cellular towers be upgraded to include battery backups or generators capable of delivering at least 8 hours of backup power, if not 24 or more. But the US cellular industry, you know, the one whose rates are some of the highest in the developed world, cried like a petulant child about the requirement and sued to scuttle the rules.

Backed by the then Bush White House, cellular carriers told anybody who'd listen that the requirement would create "a huge economic and bureaucratic burden" for the industry. A better approach, the industry proclaimed, would be to let the industry self-regulate and adhere to entirely voluntary guidelines, leaving it with the "flexibility" to adapt to problems as the industry saw fit:

"While we have the same goal as the FCC - to keep our networks running during times of emergency - we believe that having the flexibility to adapt to unique emergency situations will better serve American wireless consumers," said CTIA President Steve Largent in a statement Monday."

Keep in mind that the US telecom sector has received countless billions for network upgrades that are routinely only half delivered, if they're delivered at all. More frequently, these companies gobble up tax breaks and regulatory favors, then proceed to engage in layoffs and fewer upgrades. In this case, the wireless industry didn't want to have to use those record profits and government subsidies to upgrade towers and protect lives, and here we are.

Experts tell me the same problem reared its head during Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Irma, and Sandy. Yet somehow, government hasn't quite figured out that letting giant telecom companies unhindered by healthy competition self-regulate generally doesn't work out all that well when human lives are at stake:

“Nobody likes to pay for emergency preparedness,” Harold Feld, a wireless policy expert and lawyer at consumer group Public Knowledge told Motherboard. “That's why you need rules to force companies to spend the money. Companies will spend as little as they think they have to, which is why regulators need to tell them how much they have to spend."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that the same story has played out repeatedly on the state level. Fresh on the heels of convincing the FCC to self-immolate, the telecom sector has been trying to gut most California state oversight of broadband and wireless providers. As climate change accelerates and California attempts to impose meaningful public safeguards, it's getting harder for industry to justify its dream scenario of zero meaningful oversight:

"I think 2020 will be a very busy year at the state regulator to promote public safety rules over the telecom industry,” Falcon said. “This fire season and the number of people that had to be evacuated and rely on mobile devices for everything furthers the need to examine what works and address what is not working for people."

The idea that eliminating government oversight of the broken and barely competitive telecom sector somehow results in rainbows and Utopian outcomes is a common refrain in US tech policy, where protecting and improving carrier revenues trumps any and every other consideration. But time and time again, evidence shows that eliminating consumer protections, emergency requirements, and other forms of fundamental oversight of the largely broken sector doesn't end that well for anybody. If that lesson hadn't already been obvious watching cable companies do business, climate change will quickly make it more so.

With any luck, we might just actually learn something before it's too late.

Filed Under: battery backup, california, cell towers, fcc, fires, power, power outages, wildfires


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:00am

    Have there been any lost lives or inordinate amount of additional property damage due to their network configuration? The story is a bit vague on that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 8:28am

      Re:

      How would anybody know, as those affected lost communications with anybody beyond shouting range, unless they could walk or drive to where they could deliver their message.
      /S

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 9:06am

      Re: ...

      How did people communicate before cellfones existed ?

      What else was affected by these power outages ?

      Unfunded government mandate.
      FCC bureaucrats casually click their keyboards and demand huge sums of money be spent by private businesses.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 12:36pm

        Re: Re: ...

        How did people communicate before cellfones existed ?

        POTS, supported by copper wire. Not maintained, more expensive, and also out of service. See below.

        What else was affected by these power outages ?

        Electrical power availability - over a period greater than 24 hours in many areas.

        Unfunded government mandate.

        Permitted monopolies and Oligarchies in the power and communications industries.

        FCC bureaucrats casually click their keyboards and demand huge sums of money be spent by private businesses.

        ... which weren't spent. And lo! Here's a story about it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 12:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: ...

          Permitted monopolies and Oligarchies in the power and communications industries.

          How many poles and trenches will you allow on and through your property to allow for competition in power, communications, water etc.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: ...

            How many poles and trenches will you allow on and through your property to allow for competition in power, communications, water etc.

            We don't need competition in infrastructure, we can have competition in the service layer. Like the rest of the industrialized world does it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ...

              If you can get remove political patronage and the revolving door from regulatory agencies. The limited time in office for those in charge of regulatory agencies ensure that they will serve the regulated industry as that is where they expect to be working within a few years.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:06am

    Self-regulation is fine for the internet!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      Self-regulation is fine for the internet!

      Self-regulation is fine for me too!

      A better approach, the industry proclaimed, would be to let the industry self-regulate and adhere to entirely voluntary guidelines, leaving it with the "flexibility" to adapt to problems as the industry saw fit...

      A better approach would be to let me self-regulate and adhere to my own guidelines, leaving me the "flexibility" to adapt my behavior as I see fit.

      Think how much money (i.e tax dollars) the government could save if they quit trying tell everyone what they can and can't do! Fiscal responsibility, people!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:07am

    Those who don't like this are free to move away from California, if one uses internet logic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:17am

    The fools in California should be thankful that all they have is a power shutdown and not a hurricane which would have destroyed their houses, livelihood and place then in mortal danger of loosing their life.

    All this bitching for what is taken as daily life in the Caribbean is most sicking to read and really just shows just how out of sink with the world California is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:24am

      Re:

      Pitting the victims of various catastrophes against each other is sick, what is your problem?

      All they have is a power shutdown, loss of their house and all their stuff and many are also out of work cause the business burnt down ... no big deal tho - right?

      If one were to adequately fund an agency to monitor weather related issues (NOAA) they would have an increased amount of time to evacuate. I do not think wild fires provide much advance notice.

      Since you brought up islands and hurricanes, why did the present admin stop the promised aid to PR? It seems the present admin does not know that PR is part of the US.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 31 Oct 2019 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      All this bitching for what is taken as daily life in the Caribbean is most sicking to read and really just shows just how out of sink with the world California is.

      It isn't the people of California responsible for the shoddy infrastructure - it's because the power utility was de-regulated - the lack of preparedness points back to the Bush admin given them free reign to skimp on repairs and upgrades.

      But just keep pushing El Cheetos false narrative that California is filled with terrible people just because they didn't vote for him!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 8:32am

        Re: Re:

        Hold on a sec .... I remember Donny told the world how to eliminate forest fires and his advice was not followed, so I guess it is their fault.
        Maybe there just are not enough vacuum cleaners out there to accomplish the stated goal.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:17am

    "a huge economic and bureaucratic burden"

    • No big deal when the burden is foisted upon the unsuspecting public. Only fools clean up their own messes.

    "let the industry self-regulate"

    • I have heard this silliness in various forms. Industry self regulation has lead to some deadly results.

    "adhere to entirely voluntary guidelines"

    • How did that concept work out when inspections of airplanes was left to the manufacturer?

    Yup ... deregulation and privatization is working out so well in Calf they are having a fire sale.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      This is California where there's all kinds of Regulations happening. California is the leftist Utopia. All of their policies have created this mess. I don't see this changing anytime soon. You have the Environmentalists here, where you can't cut down trees and clear brush around power lines/towers without a fight. Hell, you can't let fires burn and so BRUSH everywhere just builds up and up until you have a fire and it grows massive because of that. Instead of letting nature do its thing. Now you can't just let it go because all the brush is there now. So instead of a manageable fire, we have these huge fires.

      Where the hell you got that California has "deregulation and privatization is working out so well in Calf" thing?!?! I think you clearly have the wrong state.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 31 Oct 2019 @ 8:31am

        Re: Re:

        Sounds like you need more rakes.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 8:41am

        Re: Re:

        Yes, that is a valid point - the people who live in the areas did not maintain adequate brush removal etc.
        In addition, PG&E did not adequately maintain the fire breaks and power line easements thus allowing high winds to cause short circuit created fires. This would not the huge problem it is today had the power co done it due diligence wrt cutting back the vegetation. Property owners share a bit of this responsibility but they were not being paid to perform any vegetation mitigation whereas the pwr co was.

        "Where the hell you got that California has "deregulation and privatization is working out so well in Calf" thing?!?! I think you clearly have the wrong state."

        • You clearly do not understand sarcasm.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:45am

    I dont think 2 Hurricane Sandy's hit the US

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Berenerd (profile), 31 Oct 2019 @ 7:55am

    Is it me or are the trolls grouping up like a heard of cats today?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 8:07am

    8 hours?

    In 2008 the FCC passed rules mandating that cellular towers be upgraded to include battery backups or generators capable of delivering at least 8 hours of backup power, if not 24 or more.

    Don't landlines typically work for days without grid power? They'll probably last longer than 8 hours on battery even after the generators die.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 8:46am

      Re: 8 hours?

      "Land lines" ... referring to the plain old telephone system?
      Yes, POTS central offices were/are equipt with adequate batteries to sustain functionality for extended periods. They also have/had back up generators.
      I have no idea what is in place these days, some areas no longer are serviced by POTS and cellular is the only option. Somewhere on the east coast after a hurricane blew away the POTS and verizon refuses to fix it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 8:59am

        Re: Re: 8 hours?

        Somewhere on the east coast after a hurricane blew away the POTS and verizon refuses to fix it.

        That was Fire Island (alternate story).

        Apparently the generators weren't even a government requirement. It was simply that people expected their phones to work in an emergency, so the phone companies put some effort into it. That seems like something that should be easier today, with cheap solar and wind power and much better batteries. But it's also easier to get away with not doing it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 10:03am

          Re: Re: Re: 8 hours?

          Apparently the generators weren't even a government requirement.

          A 2015 story by Jon Brodkin over at Ars Technica, “Internet providers lobby against backup power rules for phone lines”, provides a few details about government requirements for POTS backup power.

          Although copper landlines stay connected during power outages as long as the phone lines remain functional, they have done so without any uniform nationwide requirement.

          "Some states, depending on their level of deregulation, require backup power as part of their COLR [carrier of last resort] requirements," Public Knowledge Senior Staff Attorney Jodie Griffin told Ars.

          The state requirements vary. Alaska requires eight hours of power while Iowa requires just two, for example.

          Searching for the keyword “power” in both of the embedded links leads you to the text of the Alaska and Iowa requirements for POTS common carriers.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 10:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 8 hours?

            California has no requirement:
            "The PUC requires companies to provide access to 911 emergency services to all residential customers during a declared emergency, but not during power shut-offs, Johnson said. PUC doesn’t mandate backup power for VoIP, traditional landline, or cell phones"

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 4:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: 8 hours?

          it's easier to justify spending zero dollars to the shareholders than spending even $1.00 to provide emergency backup power...

          Are we in an emergency? Do you need backup power now? No, ok then we spend nothing... cheers and golden parachutes all around (from the telecom CEO's)...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 9:00am

    There would be no seatbelts in cars,or crash testing , if the car industry was run like telecoms in america.
    companys need regulations to ensure standard rules for public safety,
    cars have to be tested for emission standards due to epa regualtions .
    self regulation does not work,
    There should be a simple rule ,all cell towers should have a 24 hour battery backup, especially in area.s where there are frequent hurricane,s ,
    fires and floods .
    when people have to be evacuated is the worst time for cell towers
    to be switched off .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 9:30am

      Re:

      There would be no seatbelts in cars,or crash testing , if the car industry was run like telecoms in america.

      There were no seatbelts or crash testing, and the American car companies responded to the ideas with reluctance and hostility. See Unsafe At Any Speed by Ralph Nader. "Nader says that GM responded to his criticism of the Corvair by trying to destroy Nader's image and to silence him. … Senate hearings prompted by the book led to the creation of the Department of Transportation and the predecessor agencies of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1966. … The book has continuing relevance: it addressed what Nader perceived as the political meddling of the car industry to oppose new safety features, which parallels the debates in the 1990s over the mandatory fitting of airbags in the United States, and industry efforts by the ACEA to delay the introduction of crash tests to assess vehicle-front pedestrian protection in the European Union."

      (And while the phone company was an overpriced monopoly at that time, the service was reliable even during power outages.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 9:41am

        Re: Re:

        Senate hearings prompted by the book led to the creation of the Department of Transportation and the predecessor agencies of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 1966.

        Oh, so we have Nader to "thank" for that. Might have know it was some lefty. Now we not only have seatbelts, we have laws that say you have to wear them too! Laws to "protect people from themselves"? How commie is that? Time to undo that damage and make America great again, pre-Nader style!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh, so we have Nader to "thank" for that.

          For cars having seatbelts (and crumble zones etc.). Blame John D. States for making it illegal for people to drive without wearing them.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 11:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            As race physician, he learned the risks to the driver of being thrown from the car and the protection afforded by seat belts.

            Which is why everyone in a car should be required to a helmet too. Like race care drivers do!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 2:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Which is why everyone in a car should be required to a helmet too.

              What about people outside of the car? Pedestrians die every day after being hit by cars. Helmets would reduce that death rate.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I read your comment as sarcasm, but in case it was not ....
          Why should I and other safe drivers be put in jeopardy by unsafe idiots on the road? At a minimum I am adversely affected by bad drivers via automobile insurance rates. Talk about socialism - lol.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 1:00pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, you are put in jeopardy by other drivers not wearing seatbelts? Do tell. I guess you also want those other drivers to wear helmets so as to somehow not put put you in "jeopardy". I once also read the the most common cause of death in vehicle-pedestrian accidents was head injuries. So, maybe helmets should also be required for pedestrians crossing streets.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 1:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Loss of control is a common reason stated for automobile accidents, most of which involve other vehicles. One certainly will not lose control of their vehicle whilst being tossed about the interior.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 2:53pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Do seatbelts significantly prevent loss of control? I'd expect them to come into play only after someone's lost control.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 4:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I think it is possible to regain control of a vehicle after having lost control of same. Although, as pointed out, that becomes difficult when you are not seated in the driver's position.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 1 Nov 2019 @ 6:12am

          Re: Re: Re:

          As long as your health insurance doesn't cover any treatment for your injuries or any kind of payout for your death if you're not wearing your seat belt, I'd be fine with no seat belt requirement. But I don't want my premiums to go up because other people are stupid.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re:

        I can identify with the air bag mandate, its why I'm alive today. Driver wehn left of center and hits us at 40 MPH. Without air bags, my wife and I are dead. Yes, we had injuries but even our insurance agent, after looking at what was left of our car, said that a 10 year old car would have left her with 2 fatalities to deal with vs. medical bills but 2 clients who still are paying.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 9:48am

    'With any luck, we might just actually learn something before it's too late'

    not a hope in Hell!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 31 Oct 2019 @ 1:02pm

    Anyone know the federal...

    requirements for Home based phones in ALL areas of the USA?? https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/emergency-communications Let me print this please... ______________________________________________________ Network and power outages The FCC has established the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) to allow wireless, wireline, broadcast and cable providers voluntarily to report on the status of their infrastructure and operations during times of crisis. This information is not made public, but allows the FCC to monitor and evaluate communications services during a crisis. DIRS supplements the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS). Through NORS, the FCC requires wireless, wireline, cable and satellite companies providing voice and paging services to report significant disruptions or outages to their networks, and disruptions affecting 911 facilities or airports. Again the data is not made public, but allows the FCC to monitor and evaluate disruptions and outages. If there is a power outage during an emergency, your wireline phone, wireless device or VoIP service may not work unless you have a back-up power supply. If you suffer only an electrical power outage, you should still be able to use a traditional wireline (but not cordless) telephone, because electrical and telephone transmissions use different circuits or wires and telephone company facilities have back-up power available. If you keep the battery on your wireless phone or other device fully charged, these devices should also continue working during a power outage. Note that because wireless networks may be congested during an emergency, sending a text message may work better than placing a voice call. Finally, unless you have a battery-operated TV or radio, these devices will not work during a power outage. 911 call centers or PSAPs currently lack the technical capability to receive texts, photos and video. Emergency preparedness and crisis information For additional information on communicating during emergencies and helpful tips on emergency preparedness, visit the website of the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. You may also want to visit the websites of these other federal government emergency organizations: The Federal Emergency Management Agency , is responsible for responding to national disasters and helping state and local governments and individuals prepare for emergencies. The Department of Homeland Security , is responsible for preventing terrorist attacks within the United States and reducing America's vulnerability to terrorism. DHS's National Terrorism Advisory System communicates information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector. _________________________________________________________ NOW consider...DHS and FEMA/others would LOVE for things to be FIXED.. so what the hell are we waiting for. https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 4:40pm

      Re: Anyone know the federal...

      but this goes to the FCC, we know what they will do with the info... NOTHING, and most likely will delete all trace of it, so that they never have to provide it to anyone who might ask in the face of a large enough national disaster...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Johnny, 31 Oct 2019 @ 1:09pm

    No, its HOAs that killed a lot of it... not the Telco/Wireless

    It's funny. People want cell phone coverage, but try to build a cell tower near them and they get all pissed off. This is in ALL states, asshats. Not just Cali.

    Then, you want a cell tower that works during an outage, but then people get all weepy when they have to listen to a backup generator fire up on occasion. Right, so you want a back up that's never tested, and then HOPE it works when you need it? Asshats.. So people then ban the evil loud backup generators on the use permits from the city. When you let stupid people make stupid rules... whether its the FCC, Federal, State, local or HOA... you get stupidity to follow.

    But feel free to blame the wireless providers, FCC, California, etc..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2019 @ 2:55pm

      Re: No, its HOAs that killed a lot of it... not the Telco/Wirele

      This is an odd hypothesis, but a testable one. If true, non-HOA areas would have significantly better cell service in a power outage. Is there evidence?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 31 Oct 2019 @ 4:13pm

      Re: No, its HOAs that killed a lot of it... not the Telco/Wirele

      I like this one..
      its like the wind turbines off the east coast...and the rich, bitched it would spoil the view..
      No turbines..
      they must Love Coal. it makes pretty colors in the Air pollution.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Richard Bennett, 31 Oct 2019 @ 5:29pm

    First you blame Verizon because the fire department is too cheap to pay, and now you want to exonerate the state that gave Ajit Pai the most trouble.

    Up yours, Bodey McBodeface!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 7:03am

    When all else fails & self inflicted

    Two points:

    First, when all else fails, Ham Radio works. Ham radio being one of the first long range, distributed architecture, wide area networks ever made. It still works when the managed and official infrastructure fail.

    Second, these issues are self-inflicted. The spend-thrift state government squandered so much tax money that the population had to mandate limits on taxation by Proposition 13. None the less, the regular election of spending insane state governments means there is no tax money except to elect more spending insane state governments. Thus, there is neither money for infrastructure nor backbone to fix the problem. Certainly, the courts are part of the problem with the also insane belief that investors have a right to no risk, and therefor, the PG&E must maximize investor income at the expense of due diligence. Self inflicted in spades.

    Give California back to Mexico, if Mexico will take it. Otherwise, guard yourself in the up coming election. More spending insane (as well as investor brown-nosing) politicians want to spread the California virus to your state & home.

    AC

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Nov 2019 @ 7:25am

      Re: When all else fails & self inflicted

      Sure, everyone has a ham radio.

      "The issue" began when the state of calf deregulated utilities.
      Do you remember Enron?
      The privatize everything movement has a credibility problem in that the results they claim are never realized and in fact the complete opposite of what they predict is actually what happens.

      People that think they can buy/sell/trade entire countries or states .... seriously - wtf? Is this more of that nation building bullshit? Why not try soma that sweet regime change in calf?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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