the price of deregulation
Doing so nationwide would bring down the government and cause chaos and rioting everywhere (mainly by hyper-inflation) until order was restored ... by the military ... under the direction of some sort of temporary, "benevolent", America-forever, dictatorship.
But ... it can't happen here ... because Texas has prepared for its immediate energy future by building a couple dozen new power plants while California has built none (or next to none).
What's going on here?
Fundamentally, we have a failure of "government regulation". In this case, regulation means ... that this field of endeavor was made "subject to market forces" ... ostensibly with an eye to future lower energy costs.
What's the problem here? Surely deregulation is always a good thing, isn't it? No, absolutely not in the case of what I call "arterial systems" or "exhausted systems".
Imagine what would happen if the roads were deregulated. You'd have to stop every few blocks and pay a "little toll". Road quality would vary almost every block and your route would change daily on account of "litigation" or other reasons ...
CLOSED FOR ROAD SPIKE REPAIR
RATE INCREASE $.50 NEXT 2 BLOCKS
CLOSED - BANKRUPT
What would happen if water were derigulated? Would everybody have to get their lawn watered by a commercially profitable "water truck".
WITH WATERBOY !!
Some things are just more easily done communally, i.e. not in the capitalist but in the communist (not Soviet) way ... I mean with a rational sense of community.
Energy as the heart of civilization
Actually, energy is the "blood" and the power plant is the heart. What California has done is to "tamper" with its blood supply resulting in a self-induced heart attack.
What was to be gained by giving over the blood supply to chaotic "market forces"?
Deregulation is a good idea in any endeavor where there is great progress to be made ... computer, auto, appliances, medical, education, etc. Where new ideas are possible deregulation lets them loose, market forces weed out the bad from the good and civilization is better for it.
In fact, the energy field is "exhausted" ... almost as dead as fundamental mechanics. Everything has been discovered and raked over ... and over ... and over. We are near the end of the road as far as new energy sources are concerned. All that is left is "fusion" and that is a big bucks, government (rational-communal) expenditure. What can the market weed out? Nothing.
All we can get is the other side of the coin ...
Supply and Demand
If the supply goes down ... the price goes up.
Now, given the fact that there is nothing new coming down the line ... which alternative is the most likely? Right. You're gonna' take it up the poop chute.
Now, after 10,000,000 California households pay $300 per month extra on their electrical bill (that's about 30 BILLION per year extra), who is getting this money and what are they gonna' do with it? Innovate?!
The only thing they can do is build more power plants. Oh! You thought of another? ... Pocket the windfall? Noooooo. They wouldn't do that, would they?
If the money was going into a permanent solution of the energy problem ... a legacy for California's posterity ... it wouldn't be so terrible. But it isn't. Because the permanent solution (at least the 500 year solution) is the nuclear fission one (the breeder reactor). This is the only viable option for civilization. Until the fusion option becomes reality, we need something to fill in the gap and ...
We have no other genuine options
If solar were viable, someone would have built a 1/4 mile square photovoltaic field in the desert to prove feasibility and sold that electricity to the power companies (who are now obligated by law to buy it) ... at a profit. Then, many more such "electricity farms" would have come on line ... for profit.
The fact that you don't see them is proof positive that they are not economically viable for the heavy duty requirements of 21st century civilization.
So too with all the other options. They've been "raked over" ... The field is "exhausted".
Build the nuclear power plants. If they melt down, it's better than a total "civilization melt down". Put the "sludge" in the salt mines and forget about it. If someone 20,000 years form now finds it and gets killed ... that's his problem ...