OT: So, who is getting their power shut off?

5,306 Views | 155 Replies | Last: 2 days ago by going4roses
oskidunker
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Have a 95 year old mother in Pinole. Luckily it doesn't look like it will be really hot. This kind of thing is very upsetting to her. She doesn't really understand it. Its overkill. The state needs to act.
Last year is over,” Fox said. “Today we start to fight forward. We build for greater days.”
bearister
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The killer bees are at the border and strong winds are advancing their ETA.





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Cal84
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Two bankruptcies is enough to make PG&E risk adverse. Only long run solution is to bury power lines in all the areas with high tree density (the power cut affected areas being a reasonable proxy). Cost of that would easily exceed $100 billion. Try convincing utility customers to eat the annuity value of that on their bills. And for people thinking the $100 billion is an overestimate, think again. In my neck of the woods, when the Wilder home development area changed hands (for the third time), the new owners decided to pay up to bury the power lines to improve the attractiveness of the home sites. 245 home sites. $40 million. And that was for a greenfield development with no need for traffic diversion, etc. Way more expensive in an already developed neighborhood.
LodeBear
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LodeBear
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Strykur said:

sycasey said:

bearister said:

Pete Townshend is going to go ballistic if the power goes off at Chase tomorrow when he is shredding a guitar solo.
San Francisco is not part of the shutoff plan, so Pete should be fine.


SF (also where I am at) is the only county in NorCal not affected by this it looks like.
Sacramento is not affected since they get their power from SMUD and not from PG and E.
CannonBlast
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sp4149 said:

CannonBlast said:

SDG&E appears to be following the PG&E model. They had a remote line start a major fire many years ago. Much of the rural area is sparsely populated, so the outages in the rural areas of San Diego can cover very large areas.
Since the residents in those areas do not want to pay for fire districts, I can't blame SDG&E for being unwilling to accept more of the burden. That PG&E tree clearing proposal, 15 feet on each side would eliminate backyard vegetation in some neighborhoods I've lived in. Underground electrical lines would mitigate much of the danger, but that is a cost most older communities could not pay.

I think SDG&E and SCE are taking similar approaches to de-energization. PG&E's current process is a departure from that. I don't mean to pile on, but even those of us in the industry are trying to figure out why PG&E is taking this blunt approach. IMHO, it takes more work and it's not precise, but a surgical method is the way to go.

I'm only speculating -- but I think it's because PG&E's territory is one that is most impacted by climate change with the mass die-off of trees. We all have our microclimates, but SCE and SDG&E have more chaparral and brush in high fire areas. PG&E now boasts a tinder box of dead and flammable trees in its HFRA. If I recall correctly they have 47% of the CPUC designated high fire risk area in the state. It's unmanageable.

Utilities are becoming more open to a default underground system for new developments. In fact, most master plan developers work with the utilities to do this. The obstacle for replacing existing infrastructure is two-folds -- engineering AND cost. Only SDG&E has the Rule20 mechanism to fund undergrounding projects for wildfire mitigation. The commission is working on a similar funding mechanism for PG&E and SCE.
CannonBlast
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Sorry to hear that. She's had reliable electric service all her life. She's probably wondering why they have to resort to this.
CannonBlast
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Cal84 said:

Two bankruptcies is enough to make PG&E risk adverse. Only long run solution is to bury power lines in all the areas with high tree density (the power cut affected areas being a reasonable proxy). Cost of that would easily exceed $100 billion. Try convincing utility customers to eat the annuity value of that on their bills. And for people thinking the $100 billion is an overestimate, think again. In my neck of the woods, when the Wilder home development area changed hands (for the third time), the new owners decided to pay up to bury the power lines to improve the attractiveness of the home sites. 245 home sites. $40 million. And that was for a greenfield development with no need for traffic diversion, etc. Way more expensive in an already developed neighborhood.
your estimate might cover half a county.
bearister
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Caldecott Tunnel will stay open during outage, PG&E to provide generators. OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- PG&E says that the Caldecott Tunnel will remain open during the planned power outage. PG&E says they are providing back up generaters to Caltrans so the tunnel can remain open to traffic.

This is a circle jerk.

" Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" Johnny Rotten
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95bears
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So all my friends from 2nd and 3rd world countries are giving us unsolicited advice (because Americans are panzies) on what to do in terms of ice, batteries, gasoline in our cars, heating, etc.

Rad! I am so proud to be a native Californian. We've done a great job handling our top world economy. **** Yes!!!! Go Bears!!!!

P.S. One of these people's dad's was #2 in Peru and can't believe this is happening in the U.S.
nwbear84
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For you PG&E fans, every time they come up I am reminded of my very early youth. We lived in Colfax and an irrigation ditch ran along our property. The irrigation system was, and still is, run by PG& E. Don't ask me why. In any case, when the PG&E maintenance guy would come by to do whatever they did to maintain irrigation ditches, I would proudly announce, as a 4 year old, "the pee in the ditch" man was here.

My mom always thought it was funny.

Egads, that was less than a decade after the last Cal Rose Bowl!
dimitrig
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I am not in a PG&E area but SCE did this same thing to me. They shut down my power as a preventative measure. It was and is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. If the infrastructure needs repair then fix it. I felt like I was in a third world country. I do think this is a a power play meant as a big middle finger to the consumers and their representatives in government. I am tired of their monopoly. Even though I have a different provider for generation (and some of you have solar) we are still beholden to SCE (or PG&E), their dated infrastructure, and their penny pinching ways.
dimitrig
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Oh come on. I asked what it would cost to bury mine and the cost was about $10K. Some cities here are doing it over time. SCE's answer is to install new poles.
dimitrig
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CALiforniALUM said:

bearister said:

I understand PG&E's position in the matter but the corporate conspiracy theorist in me says that PG&E ate a $h@it sandwich because failure to maintain its equipment was linked to fires and that PG&E knows GD well which equipment needs remediation but by doing these shutdowns two goals are accomplished:

1. By shutting down the power they can save money on massive repairs; and
2. They are flipping a large bird to the public while screaming, "WHOSE YOUR DADDY!"

I remember a standup comic in the 1980's at The Punchline in SF posing the question, "What does PG&E stand for?" and providing the answer: "Pr@icks Grabbing Everything."



They charge you by the kWh consumed. I'm sure they don't take this decision lightly.



They will say that revenues were down relative to the cost to maintain infrastructure so they need to raise rates.
Golden One
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sycasey said:

bearister said:

Watch next for proposed legislation relating to PG&E wildfire liability so that we can avoid an orchestrated crippling of the Bay Area's economy going forward.

Right on cue:

https://sf.curbed.com/2019/9/6/20853594/wiener-sb-378-blackout-pge-wildfire-bill
Is anyone dumber than Weiner? What he needs to do is to remove the financial incentive for PG&E to create blackouts by lessening PG&E's liability in the first place. His proposed legislation only makes the problem worse by tightening the financial noose on the company. His ultimate objective is to put investor-owned utilities out of business and replace them with publicly owned utilities. Then California utilities will be as efficient and effective as the DMV.
Golden One
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dimitrig said:


I am not in a PG&E area but SCE did this same thing to me. They shut down my power as a preventative measure. It was and is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. If the infrastructure needs repair then fix it. I felt like I was in a third world country. I do think this is a a power play meant as a big middle finger to the consumers and their representatives in government. I am tired of their monopoly. Even though I have a different provider for generation (and some of you have solar) we are still beholden to SCE (or PG&E), their dated infrastructure, and their penny pinching ways.
Our representatives in the California government richly deserve the middle finger. They have created this problem by virtue of the liability laws they have written.
Golden One
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95bears said:

So all my friends from 2nd and 3rd world countries are giving us unsolicited advice (because Americans are panzies) on what to do in terms of ice, batteries, gasoline in our cars, heating, etc.

Rad! I am so proud to be a native Californian. We've done a great job handling our top world economy. **** Yes!!!! Go Bears!!!!

P.S. One of these people's dad's was #2 in Peru and can't believe this is happening in the U.S.

California is slowly but steadily becoming a third world country. Homelessness sky rocketing, housing out of reach for a large percentage of the population, widespread power outages, rampant use of illegal and prescription drugs, public schools among the worst in the U.S., doctor shortages, etc. As a native Californian, I hate to see how our state has deteriorated due to extremely poor political leadership for many years now.
CVBear01
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That would be me as i was notified earlier to expect my power shutoff within 24 hours. Need to buy marshmallows to roast on the fire pit tomorrow night. Beverages already secured. One day is manageable, but I'm hearing to expect 2-4 days. Probably won't use my phone battery to peruse this site, and just my luck we will probably land some 5 star recruit and I won't hear about it. Yeah right.

Having said that, I think I learned more about the overall big picture about PG&E's situation in this thread than you see in the news. The wide variety of viewpoints just in this thread exemplifies the difficulty of reaching a political consensus. One can only hope that the decision makers reach a balanced solution.

LunchTime
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95bears said:

So all my friends from 2nd and 3rd world countries are giving us unsolicited advice (because Americans are panzies) on what to do in terms of ice, batteries, gasoline in our cars, heating, etc.

Rad! I am so proud to be a native Californian. We've done a great job handling our top world economy. **** Yes!!!! Go Bears!!!!

P.S. One of these people's dad's was #2 in Peru and can't believe this is happening in the U.S.

California has unique policies that prevent sanity.
tabear82
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Quote:

California is slowly but steadily becoming a third world country. Homelessness sky rocketing, housing out of reach for a large percentage of the population, widespread power outages, rampant use of illegal and prescription drugs, public schools among the worst in the U.S., doctor shortages, etc. As a native Californian, I hate to see how our state has deteriorated due to extremely poor political leadership for many years now.


Take a reality check and a road trip through the towns in Oklahoma, Arkansas, etc. Large swaths of our country are already third world!
LunchTime
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dimitrig said:


I am not in a PG&E area but SCE did this same thing to me. They shut down my power as a preventative measure. It was and is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. If the infrastructure needs repair then fix it. I felt like I was in a third world country. I do think this is a a power play meant as a big middle finger to the consumers and their representatives in government. I am tired of their monopoly. Even though I have a different provider for generation (and some of you have solar) we are still beholden to SCE (or PG&E), their dated infrastructure, and their penny pinching ways.


It isn't about the infrastructure needing repair. It is that ANYTHING that happens is a potential multibillion dollar liability, regardless of the cause.

It is an unsustainable situation for any entity that handles something that might be dangerous. Imagine if Ford had the kind of liability profile California utilities have: every car crash is the cost of the worst case negligence scenario. Ford would stop making cars.
dimitrig
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LunchTime said:

dimitrig said:


I am not in a PG&E area but SCE did this same thing to me. They shut down my power as a preventative measure. It was and is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. If the infrastructure needs repair then fix it. I felt like I was in a third world country. I do think this is a a power play meant as a big middle finger to the consumers and their representatives in government. I am tired of their monopoly. Even though I have a different provider for generation (and some of you have solar) we are still beholden to SCE (or PG&E), their dated infrastructure, and their penny pinching ways.


It isn't about the infrastructure needing repair. It is that ANYTHING that happens is a potential multibillion dollar liability, regardless of the cause.

It is an unsustainable situation for any entity that handles something that might be dangerous. Imagine if Ford had the kind of liability profile California utilities have: every car crash is the cost of the worst case negligence scenario. Ford would stop making cars.

If you have risks you mitigate them. The shutdown is supposedly an attempt at that. However, I think the shutdown is more of a ploy than it is an actual attempt to mitigate risk. Maybe PG&E should get out of the power business and leave it to someone else.
CannonBlast
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dimitrig said:


Oh come on. I asked what it would cost to bury mine and the cost was about $10K. Some cities here are doing it over time. SCE's answer is to install new poles.


What do you mean 'yours'? Are you talking about the secondary line from your property to the utility's primary feed? I guess that might cost 10k. But that's the equivalent of asking how much it would cost to repave your driveway when you should be asking how much it would cost to repave all the streets in your neighbor.

CPUC estimates put the cost of undergrounding at about $3 million a mile - about 10 times the cost of overhead infrastructure. As I said in an earlier response, utility investors would Iove that because they make a return on capital. It would be bad for all ratepayers.

Some cities are doing it over time but it will take many lifetimes to underground significant portions of the grid using the current funding mechanism.
concernedparent
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Golden One said:

95bears said:

So all my friends from 2nd and 3rd world countries are giving us unsolicited advice (because Americans are panzies) on what to do in terms of ice, batteries, gasoline in our cars, heating, etc.

Rad! I am so proud to be a native Californian. We've done a great job handling our top world economy. **** Yes!!!! Go Bears!!!!

P.S. One of these people's dad's was #2 in Peru and can't believe this is happening in the U.S.

California is slowly but steadily becoming a third world country. Homelessness sky rocketing, housing out of reach for a large percentage of the population, widespread power outages, rampant use of illegal and prescription drugs, public schools among the worst in the U.S., doctor shortages, etc. As a native Californian, I hate to see how our state has deteriorated due to extremely poor political leadership for many years now.
You act like these aren't big problems all across the country. You also act like these aren't also by-products of federal policy and agglomerations of local policies.
MilleniaBear
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The red tape for tree cutting/removal is self made. PG&E and other utilities were granted the right to cut/remove trees regardless of local jurisdiction long before most of these cities were even incorporated. They are trying to be a good neighbor and end up postponing work that needs to be done. Many of the most militant communities trying to save trees are getting their power cut off. That is not a coincidence. If you interfere with a utility that needs to do work then don't be surprised when the utility is unavailable.
wifeisafurd
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Going a different direction. In SoCal, the trend among people with means is to cut the cord from SCE. It has nothing to do with cuts in service due to fires - that is a NorCal thing. It is that SCE costs a lot for connections for a new house and also causes significant construction delays which in large houses means a lot of additional costs. So owners go solar with back-up batteries and have found this reliable and cost-effective. About half the major remodels/new houses in the area we live in OC have gone the way. With black-outs in NorCal, wondering why people are not going that way (or maybe they are)? My guess is that in the long run as technology improves and becomes cheaper, power companies in warm areas will go under or be expensive alternatives just for the poor. Might add the environment does a lot better with this approach.

sycasey
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concernedparent said:

Golden One said:

95bears said:

So all my friends from 2nd and 3rd world countries are giving us unsolicited advice (because Americans are panzies) on what to do in terms of ice, batteries, gasoline in our cars, heating, etc.

Rad! I am so proud to be a native Californian. We've done a great job handling our top world economy. **** Yes!!!! Go Bears!!!!

P.S. One of these people's dad's was #2 in Peru and can't believe this is happening in the U.S.

California is slowly but steadily becoming a third world country. Homelessness sky rocketing, housing out of reach for a large percentage of the population, widespread power outages, rampant use of illegal and prescription drugs, public schools among the worst in the U.S., doctor shortages, etc. As a native Californian, I hate to see how our state has deteriorated due to extremely poor political leadership for many years now.
You act like these aren't big problems all across the country. You also act like these aren't also by-products of federal policy and agglomerations of local policies.

Some folks on this board will take any excuse to get up on their hobby-horse of California being terrible because of all the Democrats/liberals. Yes, no one wants to live here! It's too crowded!
MSaviolives
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I can't get over the fact that PG&E has given clear notice that it intended to implement these blackouts for many months, and yet suddenly yesterday--for the first time and only hours before the expected blackout--Caltrans says that it can't keep the tunnels open. So a scramble ensues, apparently resulting in PG&E bringing in generators. Is there any explanation other than that nobody at Caltrans thought of this problem until yesterday morning?
going4roses
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sp4149
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wifeisafurd said:

Going a different direction. In SoCal, the trend among people with means is to cut the cord from SCE. It has nothing to do with cuts in service due to fires - that is a NorCal thing. It is that SCE costs a lot for connections for a new house and also causes significant construction delays which in large houses means a lot of additional costs. So owners go solar with back-up batteries and have found this reliable and cost-effective. About half the major remodels/new houses in the area we live in OC have gone the way. With black-outs in NorCal, wondering why people are not going that way (or maybe they are)? My guess is that in the long run as technology improves and becomes cheaper, power companies in warm areas will go under or be expensive alternatives just for the poor. Might add the environment does a lot better with this approach.


As the country trends to daytime renewables, the price for darktime energy (those 4-9 peak time commercials) will skyrocket. Battery backup technology is a generation (developmental) away from being effective for middle class households. Right now solar installation companies are warranteeing solar panels for 25 years and batteries for no more than ten years. Solar power battery disclosures indicate a 10% annual reduction in storage capacity. Basically after five years you may be at half original storage and after ten years you have a dead battery. When batteries have the same long term performance expectations as solar panels, they may allow you to go off grid completely.

However the infrastructure will have to remain in place for at least a generation and it's maintenance will have to be paid for by ALL. Most likely this will be by creation of special districts to own, operate and manage the electrical infrastructure. Just like your taxes pay for roads if you do not drive, schools if you don't have children, fire protection if you don't start fires, the maintenance of the electrical distribution grid will have to be paid by a tax assessment, not in utility rates, Take a look at your utility bill, subtract out the cost of the purchased utility (electrical), the remainder is the cost of maintenance of the utility system. Going off the grid means that someone else subsidizes your cost of street lights, traffic lights, drainage pumps, etc... within their utitilty bill. Sooner or later ratepayers are going to demand that the infrastructure costs for services that benefit the entire community, must be paid by everyone in the community.

Whither the future? Do we continue to allow the off-the-grid types to benefit from services they don't reimburse?
Maybe we designate properties as do not assist; no fire or police, medical, or emergency response; let them burn, slide, flood, to protect adjacent areas that want protection. Afterwards the local government can neutralize the property as a public nuisance without reimbursement to the property owners. The Grump's proposal for infrastructure was 'privatize'; not working now, little hope for the future. Radical changes needed.
Golden One
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tabear82 said:


Quote:

California is slowly but steadily becoming a third world country. Homelessness sky rocketing, housing out of reach for a large percentage of the population, widespread power outages, rampant use of illegal and prescription drugs, public schools among the worst in the U.S., doctor shortages, etc. As a native Californian, I hate to see how our state has deteriorated due to extremely poor political leadership for many years now.


Take a reality check and a road trip through the towns in Oklahoma, Arkansas, etc. Large swaths of our country are already third world!
You can get the same reality check by driving through much of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland.
Golden One
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wifeisafurd said:

Going a different direction. In SoCal, the trend among people with means is to cut the cord from SCE. It has nothing to do with cuts in service due to fires - that is a NorCal thing. It is that SCE costs a lot for connections for a new house and also causes significant construction delays which in large houses means a lot of additional costs. So owners go solar with back-up batteries and have found this reliable and cost-effective. About half the major remodels/new houses in the area we live in OC have gone the way. With black-outs in NorCal, wondering why people are not going that way (or maybe they are)? My guess is that in the long run as technology improves and becomes cheaper, power companies in warm areas will go under or be expensive alternatives just for the poor. Might add the environment does a lot better with this approach.


When people realize the environmental issues with disposal of lithium ion batteries and/or their recycling costs as well as the recycling costs of solar panels, the lust for solar power will be muted.
Golden One
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concernedparent said:

Golden One said:

95bears said:

So all my friends from 2nd and 3rd world countries are giving us unsolicited advice (because Americans are panzies) on what to do in terms of ice, batteries, gasoline in our cars, heating, etc.

Rad! I am so proud to be a native Californian. We've done a great job handling our top world economy. **** Yes!!!! Go Bears!!!!

P.S. One of these people's dad's was #2 in Peru and can't believe this is happening in the U.S.

California is slowly but steadily becoming a third world country. Homelessness sky rocketing, housing out of reach for a large percentage of the population, widespread power outages, rampant use of illegal and prescription drugs, public schools among the worst in the U.S., doctor shortages, etc. As a native Californian, I hate to see how our state has deteriorated due to extremely poor political leadership for many years now.
You act like these aren't big problems all across the country. You also act like these aren't also by-products of federal policy and agglomerations of local policies.
Except for illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse, these are NOT problems all across the country. Sky rocketing housing costs, worst public schools in the U.S., widespread power outages, and crumbling freeways are primarily California problems. Homelessness also seems to be worse in California than in other states.
MSaviolives
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MSaviolives said:

I can't get over the fact that PG&E has given clear notice that it intended to implement these blackouts for many months, and yet suddenly yesterday--for the first time and only hours before the expected blackout--Caltrans says that it can't keep the tunnels open. So a scramble ensues, apparently resulting in PG&E bringing in generators. Is there any explanation other than that nobody at Caltrans thought of this problem until yesterday morning?
Answering my own question, apparently Caltrans didn't foresee that power in both CoCo and Alameda Counties might be shut down at the same time.

sycasey
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Golden One said:

concernedparent said:

Golden One said:

95bears said:

So all my friends from 2nd and 3rd world countries are giving us unsolicited advice (because Americans are panzies) on what to do in terms of ice, batteries, gasoline in our cars, heating, etc.

Rad! I am so proud to be a native Californian. We've done a great job handling our top world economy. **** Yes!!!! Go Bears!!!!

P.S. One of these people's dad's was #2 in Peru and can't believe this is happening in the U.S.

California is slowly but steadily becoming a third world country. Homelessness sky rocketing, housing out of reach for a large percentage of the population, widespread power outages, rampant use of illegal and prescription drugs, public schools among the worst in the U.S., doctor shortages, etc. As a native Californian, I hate to see how our state has deteriorated due to extremely poor political leadership for many years now.
You act like these aren't big problems all across the country. You also act like these aren't also by-products of federal policy and agglomerations of local policies.
Except for illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse, these are NOT problems all across the country. Sky rocketing housing costs, worst public schools in the U.S., widespread power outages, and crumbling freeways are primarily California problems. Homelessness also seems to be worse in California than in other states.
Normally I wouldn't dignify you with a response, but this is some Grade-A bulls*** that needs to be refuted.

1. California doesn't have the worst public schools. Alabama does. CA is not particularly close to the bottom, even when you remove higher education from the picture.
http://worldpopulationreview.com/states/public-school-rankings-by-state/

2. Not sure about freeways and power grids specifically, but crumbling infrastructure definitely is a problem all over the country. It is not California-specific, though certain environmental problems (like wildfires) may well be. Other states have their own issues with hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, etc.
https://www.businessinsider.com/asce-gives-us-infrastructure-a-d-2017-3

As for housing costs, I refer to my earlier comment: "No one wants to live there! It's too crowded!"
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