Commentary: California: It Didn't Have To Be This Way

With his state's electricity crisis worsening by the day, California Governor Gray Davis came out with a state-of-the-state speech on Jan. 8 that had plenty of bold talk. He threatened the use of eminent domain to seize privately held power plants, for example. But for all its bombast, Davis' address was frighteningly short on the specifics of how he planned to fix the state's electricity woes. The governor said he would set aside $1 billion to "help stabilize the price of electricity and provide new power generation." But two days later, when he released his state budget, Davis still had no specifics about how to spend the money. Then, on Jan. 10, Pacific Gas & Electric suspended dividends.

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