Via Economic Policy Journal

Gov. Gavin Newsom

Well, you knew this was going to happen.

Thanks to all kinds of regulations, the California power company with a state-granted monopoly, PG&E,  and other monopoly power companies in other regions, are resorting to shutting off power to millions when there is a threat that high winds may knockdown wires and cause fires.

The state has reacted, not by opening up the regions to more competition, which would most certainly include power suppliers who would provide the correct type of power lines to the high wind regions that would not be susceptible to the winds.

Instead, California Governor Gavin Newsom is going more statist.

He has named a new energy czar, Ana Matosantos. No doubt, new regulations are on their way that will distort and suffocate energy production even more with the heavy arm of the state at the helm.

But who is  Ana Matosantos?
Is she perhaps familiar with free markets and how they work so that her totalitarian rule over the energy sector will be lite?

Unfortunately, it does not appear that way.

 Ana Matosantos

K. Lloyd Billingsley at the Independent Institute provides a bit of background on the lady who will be in charge of the power switches.

Key snippets:

“PG&E as we know it cannot persist and continue,” proclaimed California governor Gavin Newsom last Friday. “It has to be completely transformed, culturally transformed, operationally transformed, with a safety culture first and foremost.”

Embattled and enflamed Californians might wonder how this complete transformation is to be achieved. On Friday, Gov. Newsom provided the answer when he named his cabinet secretary Ana Matosantos the new “Energy Czar.” Gov. Newsom is on record that his cabinet secretary is a “genius” and Capitol Weekly explains that Matosantos “makes the trains run on time.”

A Puerto Rico native from a wealthy family, Matosantos earned a BA in political science and feminist studies from Stanford. Those were rather meager qualifications for state finance director, but Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger picked Matosantos for that post in 2009. In 2011, she was busted for drunk driving in Sacramento, but Gov. Jerry Brown refused to accept her resignation. Matosantos served nearly four years as Brown’s chief budget advisor, and her tenure was marked by “multibillion-dollar shortfalls.”

Covered California, the state’s wholly owned subsidiary of Obamacare, the so-called “Affordable Care Act,” then took on Matosantos at $120,000 for a six-month stint. Her performance did nothing to prevent Covered California from becoming what health journalist Emily Bazar described as “widespread consumer misery.”

In 2016, Congress passed the PROMESA legislation to deal with Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt, and the legislation created the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Board. San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi favored Matosantos for a board post, and President Obama duly appointed her. It was not disclosed that Matosantos was also on the board of the Matosantos Commercial Corporation, owned by her wealthy family, with deep interests in the energy business on the island.

According to Christopher D. Coursen, former counsel of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, the Oversight Board “has been a complete failure and has not achieved anything of significance.” President Trump and Congress need to replace members “clearly unfit to serve” with those dedicated to restoring fiscal responsibility in Puerto Rico. “Given the recent evidence of blatant conflicts of interest of Ana Matosantos,” Coursen said, “her removal seems like the best place to start. And that review and her subsequent removal needs to happen now.”

Hint to my friends in the California hills. Your only option, other than moving, is this.

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