EPSA exec rebukes McCullough's claims.
Lynne H. Church, President, Electric Power Supply Association
If the issues confronting California’s ratepayers weren’t so important, it would be easy to say that Robert McCullough’s efforts (“Revisiting California,” April 1, 2002) are best published on April Fools Day.
McCullough has once again trotted out a mix of tired, unsubstantiated charges and selective use of data to further support his preference for the expensive inefficiencies of cost-plus regulation.
While we would be the first to agree that the design of the California market was a disaster waiting to happen, we cannot abide the fabrication that generators withheld power from the market to boost profits. Nothing could be further from the truth—it has been documented that those power plants ran flat out to supply electricity to California.
New proof of this comes from the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s (SCAQMD) recent environmental audit of the Los Angeles basin. A SCAQMD executive said during the crisis power plants were run “at higher capacity than ever before.” Output reached “unheard-of” levels and the generators almost ran the plants “into the ground” providing power.
McCullough’s use of western regional capacity data comparing 1994 and 2001 to claim power generators kept electricity from the market is also misleading.