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As PG&E Leaves Millions Without Power Amid Wildfires, Sanders Says Time to Think About 'Public Ownership of Major Utilities'

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/28/pge-leaves-millions-without-power-amid-wildfires-sanders-says-time-think-about


We are dependent upon Bernie Sanders for any sanity and logic in government –
We need to ensure that this time he does get the nomination –

Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that “it is time to begin thinking about public ownership of major utilities” to prevent such catastrophic corporate mismanagement in the future.

These are our natural resources – not for private profit which has enriched Elites over
the last hundreds of years. NATIONALIZE

Bernie is slowly pulling the Dem candidate pool to the left while presumably the DNC
continues to support and fund fake corporate Dems –

Energy must be an issue for our communities – one by one – wires must be put underground.
Every building should have solar panels on it. Also true for our cities, large and small.

We are NOT hearing the same kinds of sanity and logic from all of our Dem candidates
or the Dem Party.


The time was here in Canada most power utilities were publicly owned. I can state without reservation that the Publicly owned utilities were more reliable and safer.

The claim is made that privately own utilities cost less and are financed via investor dollars rather than with taxpayer dollars. We see the consequences of this In California. PG &e in order to maximize profits cuts costs and in order to cut costs they scale back maintenance and pay their workers much less per hour. Where a worker for a Public Utility might see that job as a lifetime career , many that work for these Private Companies just jump job to job and are not vested in that work.

That all said, I see Bernie Sanders as a last chance for the people of the United States. It my feeling that if any other Candidate elected to President it will be more big business as usual in spite of their promises that might suggest otherwise. There simply no other candidate that is as genuine or as trustworthy when it comes to what they say they want to do with that they will ultimately do.


nationalize natural gas, crude oil also.
notice that Illinois has a pending scandal for the electric rate state wide.
A couple democat house members are much wealthier today because of donations from Comed.


Agreeing with your take on this. But are we talking about a twenty year transition or what?
And will we want to have government control over fossil fuel extraction next? Now there’s a fight.

I have worked both sides of the fence, public and private. When I worked in the public sector it was in a small town in AZ and most people in town knew me and that I was working for them. The greetings on the street fulfilled me in a way I cannot describe. Just imagine the rewards to our society due to the outgrowth of civility.


extraction by the small drilling outfits do release natural gas into the atmosphere. The major companies know that this gas is sold for a profit and capture it. The aging pipelines and distribution within cities all need updates to avoid leaks, fires, deaths. Start with British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell.

Then, if USA uses 25% of the oil and gas - and we want to go to 2.5%, go to rationing for climate temperature decrease.

Today, the air is a bit cleaner here because the steel mills are at very reduced production.

On the engineering side, we the people (because PG&E sure isn’t messing up their gravy train) need to engineer ways to store locally created solar-sourced electricity. That gets rid of the high voltage lines. I can name some of the promising competitors:

We need solar power towers with zero bird kills. Simply don’t over-concentrate the sun in any potentially hazardous area and the birds are fine.

I have a mountain solar chimney that runs off of the waste heat from solar power towers. It won’t work everywhere but it’s useful.

To store photovoltaic electricity, the old standby is pumping water uphill and then letting it back down through turbines. I have sketched a system that raises about 50,000 tons of rock up a hill and lets it back down.

Politically, PG&E needs to be roasted over a hot fire. Because PG&E is nothing but paper, it will start burning and that will be the end of the corporation. Over the longer term, we need to make wealthy decision-makers consistently liable for manslaughter charges whenever innocent people wantonly die for personal profits. You want the job, you do it right, or else. If you’re a fireman and then you wantonly set fires just to increase your business, why wouldn’t you expect to share a prison cell with some carjacker? So, what’s wrong with punishing a CEO, or punishing the Sackler family for that matter?

As for climate change, just don’t live in California, or in hurricane or tornado country.


GO BERNIE! could not be happier to hear you state the obvious. long overdue!

Green Party presidential candidate and Green Party co-founder Howie Hawkins has won the nomination to also represent the Socialist Party of the US. He is trying to unite the independent left. Don’t forget to help the Green Party get ballot access now, so he will be on your ballot in the general election, after the Democratic Party has stolen their primary from Sanders again.


Couldn’t agree with Bernie more. I’d like to see (as others state above) all energy extraction and distribution, drug manufacturing, and all mining operations nationalized.
That being said, I live 25 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, hurricane country to say the least, underground transmission lines wont work in most of the country. Electrical engineers have worked on it for years here because of the storms and the costs to rewire after a major one makes landfall. The small feeder lines suppling small businesses and residential areas are not a problem underground, but the engineers haven’t found a cost effective method of overcoming the heat build-up that’s associated with putting high voltage lines underground. This might be possible in some of the most northern parts of the country, but not in most areas.

I am pleased to hear Senator Sanders adopt this policy, I have advocated for federal control of both the electrical power generation/distribution industries and a national public transportation system. Two areas where federal control makes sense and would save money and reduce costs while increasing the ability to greatly lower carbon emissions while installing a national smart grid power system that is robust, secure and expandable.

Sorry, while I’ve no problem with expanding the scope and range of socialization within our nation’s mixed economy system, I’m no more a Socialist than I am a Capitalist, but rather simply a Progressive. Until the Green party takes care of its internal issues and Big Tent (or should that be “tenet”?) holes, I see no reason to enhance its position within our current national political system.

That said I don’t have any problem with a socialist party nor socialist candidates promoting and running on their own, or any other party’s ticket. If Mr Hawkins, or anyone else, can help to consolidate and motivate more people to get involved in politics I heartily applaud their efforts!

Underground systems don’t face technological problems, they face economic problems in the form of minimizing costs and expenses to yield higher short-term profits in a privatized system focused on maximizing short-term profits above virtually every other consideration.

We need to hear more about regulation. Will a gov. run utility be a responsible broker when it comes to damages to individuals. I would think so, but do we know that?
A new grid could promote cross country types of transportation and other things.
Nobody is going to like the raises in taxes if it falls on the 99%.

Disagree, I was told by an electrical engineer (the father-in-law of a close friend) , who worked on a underground transmission line project, that they could not overcome the heat build-up issue at a cost that was lower than replacing aboveground lines. Your statement reinforces what I was told, if the lines could be put underground at the same or lower cost, it would be a profit gain, and all the lines here along the Gulf Coast would be underground, instead of being repaired or replaced every 10-20 years.

Your cost analysis for above ground lines isn’t including repairs, maintenance and future expansion growth over the delivery lifetime. These costs are significant and often depend upon federal and state emergency/disaster relief funds instead of simply building robust in-ground systems that would have life-cycles of a century or more and greatly reduced costs for repair, maintenance and expansion. I would expect that this issue will be one of the first addressed when private utilities are converted to public utilities.

Taxes are for things we want less of, not things that are valuable infrastructure investments. There would be no need to raise or spend taxes for any needed and valuable infrastructure. A progressive electrical power rate arrangement would probably be the best way to handle public-owned utilities. With a baselevel of power available to every individual, and a schedule of rates for power above the baselevel, and then a separate set of commercial rates for private businesses. You should be able to fund most, if not all, of the system’s operations, maintenance, and growth from revenues generated from the power delivered.

Good ideas, but I can imagine the loophole gang coming out in full force. Hope we can prevent that.
Republicans could not live with themselves if they couldn’t get a special deal.

First thing is, it’s not my cost analysis, I’m not an electrical engineer, but the man I talked to about this subject is, and he is also a honorable man with integrity, who wanted the underground project to succeed. Besides the relief funds you bring up, it costs the electrical consumers here on the GC plenty, to keep replacing transmission lines after major hurricanes make landfall, in higher monthly utility costs. You keep dodging the underlining problem they ran into with this topic. So explain in detail, how this underground heat build-up problem can be solved in a cost effective manor in your opinion, I’m sure the engineer I referenced would like to know the answers.