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January 24, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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2001 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter RAND INSTITUTE power utilities to cut to half a million Francisco, San Jose and State regulators blackouts on supply 'low and power OVer the state. , Schools, and day- including stores and Even police and power blamed and "deregula- for the even though energy market is by no measure free and was not "deregulated" in 1996, but actually "reregulated," with one set of regulations substi- tuted for another. While rereg- ulation was certainly responsi- ble for California's energy cri- sis, another important cause has gone unnoticed and has not been given proper atten- tion: environmentalist activism. Environmentalists have worked for decades to stop the construction of major power plants in California--and have succeeded. As a result, California generates less power per resident than any other state, and "hnports" about one quarter of the ener- gy it consumes. Since 1985, only minor power plants have been built in California, adding only 6,000 megawatts to the state's supply--hardly enough to meet an increased demand for 10,000 megawatts. If plants capable of generating an additional 4,000 megawatts had been built in the last decade, there would be no energy crisis today. By pre- venting entrepreneurs from building power plants, envi- ronmentalists choked the sup- ply of power and set the stage for crises like the current one. The origins of today's energy crisis can be traced back to the 1970s, a quarter of a century before any "deregulation" took place, when environmental groups committed to stopping the construction of the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Lawsuits, demonstrations, and media campaigns succeeded in delay- ing the plant's construction for 10 years. A "study" released by the Environmental Impacts Analysis was used to force unnecessary project changes on the original plant's plans, like the inclusion of an expen- sive but superfluous mecha- nism to cool water dumped into the Pacific Ocean--pre- sumably so fish wouldn't "feel the heat." Environmentalists justified the changes by claiming that nuclear power is inherently unsafe. But, the fact is that hundreds of nuclear plants have been safely producing electricity around the Western world, without the burden of having had environmentalist changes to their original plans. A spokesman for the Government Accountability Project, another environmen- talist organization, explained their agenda: "We don't want safe nuclear power plants. We want no nuclear power plants." Environmentalists, however, did not succeed in preventing Diablo Canyon's completion in 1985, though they managed to multiply building costs twelve- fold, from $500 million to $6 bil- lion. Similar problems plagued San Onofre, built to supply Southern California with eper- gy. The nuclear plant was com- pleted in 1984, and also had its cost driven up by environmen- talist litigation, from $1.3 bil- lion to $4.3 billion. Businessmen quickly realized that such high and unpre- dictable costs made construc- tion of nuclear power plants financially impractical, and no entrepreneur has dared build another nuclear plant in California or anywhere else in America since. Environmentalist groups have also prevented coal and oil power plants from being built by lobbying legislators to enact such draconian regula- tions and unreasonable air- quality standards that even some existing plants were forced to shut down. A telling illustration of the scope of the environmentalist impact on power generation is the Honey Lake plant, in the Sierras, which used timber chips and forest leftovers as fuel to make electricity. The plant was forced to close down because of a mandated morato- rium on forest logging, prompted by a lawsuit from Earth Island Institute, a San Francisco-based environmen- tal group. Another dozen simi- lar plants scattered around the Sierras will probably share the same fate, and the 300,000 homes they serve will become the next victims of environ- mentalist litigation. At the EPA, environmental- ists have worked to institute a torturous process to slow down and deny approval to the con- struction of power plants. Daniel Nix, deputy director at the California Energy Commission, observed, "Of the last five certificates we award- ed [for power plant construc- tion], four were challenged by the Environmental Protection Agency." Environmentalists have done everything to stop the construction of new power plants, from nuclear to "envi- ronmentally friendly" timber chip plants. What could be their motives for limiting ener- gy supply?. Their leaders tell us that their purpose is to protect man. Yet, they are well aware that man needs energy and technology to sustain modern industrial civilization. They also know progress cannot happen without increasing energy supply. The recent blackouts are evidence that their goal is to protect fish, trees, water, and air at the expense of man. The blackouts are an early warning sign of the dangers to human life coming from envi. ronmentalist activism. Californians are paying dearly for the environmentalists' determination to slow down the engines of the world and halt human progress. But, how much more of the Green agen- da are Americans willing to put up with, and for how long?. The choice we face is clear-cut: Greens, blackouts, and stagna- tion--or modern industry, new power plants, and progress. Take your pick. Letters I must contain an address number. We publish per week, per per- letter per person, regardihg the same do not publish third- Letters must to a maximum of 300 letter in excess of 300 be cut by the editor. Friday at 3 p.m. be taken to any of offices, sent or e-mailed at r in regards to :for the death I this case. he should get the T...he took a won- life...I worked erry at the Forest he was doing what do---fishing---and to that manner he reconsider your not push for the r in this case. YOU. Doris Madigan Orangevale PemlOn's help like to clarify the Plumas Carp of a consultant development. concerns from sev- of the Board of rs regarding the direction Plnmas in regards to developing an economic plan which would be better suited to the common good of all the county. I understand this new direction the Board of Supervisors has taken, and I welcome and hope that Mr. Pearson can help us (Plumas Carp) and the whole county in developing a workable and viable economic plan. Dale Fraser Board of Directors Plumas Corporation Portola The release of the Sierra Nevada Framework will no doubt trigger letters from all sides. I would like to cautiort my friends and neighbors on not oversimplifying what is a very complex situation with many competing factors. One factor that is almost uni- versally misunderstood is the "spotted owl" problem. There Group can succeed in address- ing the complex issues, result- ing in long-term health of both forests and families. The Framework is not per- fect. But, looking at the entire problem means we recognize the multifaceted nature of the situation and are willing to drop previous failed attempts at solving the problems in the Sierra Nevada forests by yelling across the table at those who see things different- lY;rhe Framework represents thoughtful attention to the complexity of our extraordi- nary environment and clears the way for the first time ever for meaningful solutions. The next step is to come together to persuade policy makers and forest managers that the fire problem is very critical and more needs to be done to address it. This may mean that environmentalists must give ,,, ,,,, years in the classroom) that it was the primary factor, in combination with modifica- tions in the classroom, student understanding of his/her prob- lem, and parental support, in allowing many of my students to learn. Many conferences and IEPs later, I have never heard an educator advocate not sharing information with the student, who must ulti- mately be responsible for his own success or failure. Each family must decide for itself what is the best choice of interventions for their ADHD child. I know how terribly dif- ficult this is. The web site list- ed by Ms. Higbee (The National Institute of Mental Health) is an excellent source of information and dispels many myths. It is a good place to start and I thank you for introducing it to me. Peggy Wright Chester is a tendency to simplify here, up even more in the compro- by asserting that "environ- mentalists" want to preserve an inconsequential bird to the detriment of forest jobs and families. This perilous simpli- fication has been promoted by the forest products industry because they do not want you to see that some of the problem can be laid directly at their feet: namely the automation of the mills which eliminated about 75 percent of the forest jobs in the last 10 years. I'm not saying they shouldn't have automated, but there is an effort to hide this fact so you won't see that some of the blame has nothing to do with spotted owls. raise to affect change. Barbara Palmerton Quincy ADHD--another story As a reading teacher at Chester Elementary, I read Alicia Higbee's My Turn col- umn with great interest. One of several children whose progress I follow has been on very carefully monitored med- ication and received some spe- cial help from his school for the Past seven years. His moth- er, who taught briefly and was raised in a family of educators, was well aware of the difficulty teachers face trying to meet the needs of all their students. A weighty matter I am writing this letter to clarify information presented in the Jan. 17 issue's Senior Corner. Red Perkett did an excellent job of presenting some of the issues surrounding the sale of propane in our area. As everyone who uses propane knows, the cost of propane is very high this year, approximately double what it was this time last year. Naturally, everyone who uses propane is concerned with how much it is costing them so they are likely to scrutinize their bills more than in recent years and are more concerned Measures. Karl Bishop Sealer of Weights and Measures oatv mmaa Most of us have first hand knowledge of the excellent staff at Seneca Hospital and the clinic. Perhaps not as many are aware of how fortu- nate we are to have the exper- tise of the board members (the fellow homeowners and tax- payers we've elected to repre- sent our best interests) and the administrator. These are very capable and ethical people. : While a vocal minority ridicules and discounts them and their judgment, in addi- tion to constantly distorting facts, we ask you...if the hospi- tal and its services don't need additional funding to survive, what does this minority think is the motive for the board members and administrator's advice? We believe this minor- ity has a very negative, person- al agenda for Seneca Hospital, and we're equally sure the board members and adminis- trator have only the health and wellbeing of our citizens in mind. Joy and Harry Hughes Lake Almanor Avasllo a n onoatlon? This is in response to Mary Kathleen West's article "Seneca physicians wages meet national average." Is it possible that Ms. West simply took Mr. Mark's word for physician compensations at both hospitals without actually verifying any of it? The aver- The spored owl is at the top She knew the responsibility than ever that they get the age salary of a family physi- Corp contract- of the food chain and whenwas hers and lives her life actual amount of propane they cian is between $120,000 and PC to perform a they disappear, it means the accordingly. Many schedules, paid for. I suggest a copy of the $140,000, according to Medical of the county entire ecosystem has col- llsts, strategies, IEPs, confer- 'delivery ticket" be obtained Economics magazine. It is lapsed. A collapse of the ences and tears later, this child from the driver at the time of obvious she did not verify the a general plan in ecosystem means that trees cc nomic develop- il sUlstimately fail to thrive, brought home his first honor the delivery or arrange to have work schedule of the Seneca roll report card. . . one left at the residence or physicians before writing the has always been :ely will continue " based on well-under- He has always known aoout business before the driverarticle. .~ments regarding stood principles of ecologY: the differences in his brain leaves. This allows for a cam- Marks states that the Seneca on of economic every component of an ecosys- .and has seen the MR/. He also .paragon between deliveries and physicians work seven days a Plumas Carp has tern is ultimately dependent ynows that help is available bi yg epartment is responsi- week and cover OB and ER while earning $195,000 per ard of Supervisors upon every other. The spotted nut, ultimately, the buck stops owl is called an indicator him. His parents focus on ble for testing the meters on year. This couldn t be further and a clear defmi- ~eP~acies because it signals the tis interests and talents and he bulk delivery trucks as well as from the truth. The.physicians their perceptions ealth of the whole system. If aas many opportunities to put- dispensers located at numer- work no more than four days the owls go, sooner or later, the economic develop- JdO:ns, will go, too. So please sue these. Hopefully, his aug businesses within theper week, take ER call every Progress will continue as ne county. We ensure these fourth and work in the ER one C report concluded a t say owls vs jobs. This enters high school, meters are accurate to plus or weekend per month. us Carp should con- simplification is eacherons. I went to the web site you minus one percent. However, Mr. Marks did not mention :toUtSidehelpthirddefinePartYthe You may think you're solving mentioned where I found a the gauge on top of storage that, in addition to the average carry out a specific the problem, but you only wealth of information. I cant tanks are for estimation pur- $200,000 in compensation, Veloping priorities, make it worse, possibly quote all of it, but I poses only and should not be Seneca physicians get every. b.p an economic plan Not all environmentalists found a Dec. 1999 release to oe used to calculate actual thing else such as rent, utiU. ra of Directors for are the same. Some would like ol particular interest This amounts of fuel in or delivered ties, staff and their benefits agreed with this, to stand in the way of even one study of 600 children at 6 dif- to that tank. (each physician has two or ted the SBDC pro- more tree being cut and others ferent sites was done by As an example, it can be three employees), office and understand very well that pea- Clarissa Wittenberg and used to determine the approxi- medical supplies, all for free. the Board of ple, prosperity and wood prod- Marilyn Weeks, who stated mate amount of propane need- The physicians pay s 10 per- rs, which agreed ucts are important to all at-us, that "on average, carefully ed to refill a partially full tank. cent billing fee. On the take aposal and directed that diseased and crowaeamonitored medication manage- The readings on these gauges home pay of over $200,000, each P to put out bids for lit in this area of trees must be cut and that our ment with monthly follow-up, can vary widely due to temper- family physician pays about lumas Corp did so lives depend upon effective fire with input from teachers, is ature changes and may differ $20,000 in overhead expenses to led that the consul- management .... more effective than intensive by several percentage points the district. Can any physi- hico was the best Lumping all environmenum"behavioral treatment for from early morning to after- clan, with two to three employ- o meet our needs,ists together and name-calling ADHD. The combination of noon just due to the tankees, run a business with to contract with is unfair. I consider myself an medication management andwarming up in the sun. $20,000?. The Seneca Healthcare environmentalist, but I do not intensive behavioral treat- Finally, I wanted to clarify District bears the burden of tant was then sub- want to see my neighbors lose ments was also significantly the way to contact us if there is hundreds of thousands of dol- l for.approval'b the Board of. theirjobsandtheircl l.'dr e.ng superior to psychosocial treat- a problem with propane sales lars in expenses for each physi- .n, the scenarm hungry. I don't want the rares ments alone in reducing or any other weights and mea- clan at the Lake Almanor behind my house to burn, ADHD symptoms., sures issue. We are a county Clinic. ri t indwhichto workPlumaSwith either. It takes a long time and I am not advocating the department and our numberThe new CEO is quick to of Supervisors in a lot of work, but I believe that indiscriminate Use of dru- for can be found under the county point out that he is new and efforts like the Quincy Library ADHD, but I do know ( er 30 listings for Weights and that he is just "gt ing his feet wet." In November, following the board's instruction to cut $750,000 in costs, he barely managed to cut $300,000 from the budget. He cut employee meals and coffee at Seneca. Yet, he is busY defending the physician's compensation, the need for more tax monies and he is trying his best to frighten the citizens about possibly closing the emergency room. No other hospital in the area has ever closed the emergency room without finding other ways to cut expenses. For example, can a retirement community of Lake Almanor Basin manage without the maternity services offered at Seneca? The answer is most likely, yes. So far, Marks has excelled at touting his inexpe. rience and ignorance at man- aging an acute care hospital and little else. Red Meyers Chester lldnk about it, folks Elimination of the Seneca Hospital ER has been men. tioned as a possible candidate for cost containment. That must not be allowed to happen. This is my own most recent experience. Within the period from Nov. 24 - Dec. 20, I was treated in the ER six to eight times. These visits occured after nor- mal working hours; that is, after eight to five and on a weekend. All were strictly nec- essary; there was no alterna- tive. I had back-to-back surgeries on Dec. 5 at Seneca, Ors. Frantz and Jensen operating, and at Enloe on Dec. 14, Dr. Sterzer operating. Post surgi- cal care required the installa- tion of some ancillary plumb- ing (read catheter) in my uri- nary tract. A characteristic of catheter is clogging and the fix is irrigation or flushing. Thus, many trips to the ER-- right now. After a couple of these, Dr. Jensen issued a standing order for the procedure. The point of all of this is that medical emer- gencies simply can't be pro- grammed for eight to five on Monday through Friday. Now, my need was admittedly not life threatening. But, if you have ever had one of these things installed, you will know they can be painful and that frequent flushing is necessary and can't be delayed. A drive to Susanville, Gr@enville or Enloe is not feasible, Now, suppose it was life threatening. What would you do at 3 a.m. some morning, a 900 pound gorilla sat on your chest, or at 4 p.m. on Saturday, your kid fell out of the boat and into the prop, or there was a serious accident at the mill just after quitting time ? What would any of us do if there was no well-equiped ER with an attending staff and doctors on call ? Think about it, folks, before we save money at the risk of our lives. Before we throw the baby out with the IMtto , pap LOB