Stop paying for bad decisions and corruption in the utility industry. End the bailouts that have destroyed our budget surplus. Support the municipal utility districts and renewable energy sources like wind and solar. During the so-called energy crisis, Governor Gray Davis bought $43 billion worth of long-term energy contracts, a purchase that is now worth approximately $11 billion. Instead of standing up to the rapacious corporations who manipulated the market to cause phony shortages, he panicked and made the worst investment ever in the history of this planet. An investment manager would have been fired for making a long-term purchase in response to a short-term shortage. We, and our children will be paying for his poor judgment for decades to come.
Instead of paying for past mistakes, we should be initiating a massive program to develop renewable energy: solar, wind, and (for the long-term) fuel cells. It would put us ahead of the curve for the future, and make California once again the state of vision. In so doing, we would also establish our economy as an enduring powerhouse.
Camejo’s Debate Response: How would you have handled last year’s energy crisis differently?
“First of all, what [Davis] did was utter incompetence. He went and wrote a $43 billion check to a whole bunch of energy companies. Itês unbelievable. In six months, [the package of contracts] was worth about $11 billion. Thatês a world record. Thatês the worst investment ever made in the history of humanity. I would never have done that without hedging. Now hedging means you buy insurance on it. That would be very easy to do. … Something I have been saying that I would have done, which neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have said anything about, would be to call a meeting of the owners of these companies, which is the pension funds. And I would have proposed to the pension funds that every one of these companies, the four or five key ones that were creating the problems, that we simply vote out their boards, replace their management and put law-abiding citizens in charge. That would have solved the problem immediately. And we wouldnêt be now negotiating contracts with them. In fact, we could do that today. We donêt have to just look to the past. If I become governor, we will do that. We will kick out the board of El Paso and of Reliant and of Calpine, and we will put law-abiding citizens in there, and we will rip up those contracts.”