"We need everybody's brain power, we need solutions!"
"WE ARE APT TO SHUT OUR EYES AGAINST A PAINFUL TRUTH...
FOR MY PART, I AM WILLING TO KNOW THE WHOLE TRUTH;
TO KNOW THE WORST; AND TO PROVIDE FOR IT."
---- Patrick Henry
Secret Service Raids E-Gold
Fri Mar 30 13:27:23 2001
Secret Service Raids E-Gold
by Declan McCullagh (email@example.com)
11:10 a.m. Mar. 30, 2001 PST
WASHINGTON -- The Secret Service has raided a New York state business
that exchanged dollars for grams of the digital currency called
A bevy of agents from the Secret Service, Postal Service and local
police recently detained the owners of Gold-Age, based in Syracuse,
and seized computers, files and documents from the fledgling firm.
U.S. Attorney Daniel French said Friday that the investigation
involved charges of credit card fraud. "We haven't brought charges
yet," French said. "We're in the investigative phase."
Gold-Age owner Parker Bradley says that during his eight-hour
interrogation on March 12, the Secret Service seemed less interested
in credit card fraud and more interested in the mechanics of e-gold.
Until last year, Bradley accepted credit cards and paid out e-gold,
but said he quit because too many people used stolen credit cards when
conducting business with him.
"The interrogation became less about me and more about politics and
e-gold," Bradley said. "They were trying to get me to blame e-gold for
fraud. Just to be blunt, these guys have no clue about how e-commerce
works, how e-gold works or what I was doing."
E-gold is a 5-year-old firm based on the Caribbean island of Nevis
that provides an electronic currency backed by physical metal stored
in vaults in London and Dubai. The company says it has 181,000 user
accounts and stores about 1.4 metric tons of gold on behalf of its
Bradley's Gold-Age company, which he ran with his wife out of their
home until the raid, was one of about a dozen e-gold currency exchange
services: He took dollars and credited grams of gold, silver, platinum
and palladium to a customer's account, less a modest fee.
Still unclear is why the raid took place. French indicated that it
could be more than a routine credit card investigation, saying "at
this point, it's being investigated as a credit card fraud."
One possibility is a broader investigation directed at some users of
e-gold, which is less anonymous than cash but more anonymous than
credit cards. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has warned of
malcontents using the Net and encryption to dodge taxes, and it's
possible that the feds don't exactly approve of a system that's more
privacy-protective than the heavily regulated banking system.
Current federal regulations require banks and credit unions -- about
19,000 in all -- to inform federal law enforcement of all transactions
$5,000 and above that have no "apparent lawful purpose or are not the
sort in which the particular customer would normally be expected to
Because e-gold is not a bank that lends money -- it's more akin to a
warehouse that stores gold on behalf of its customers -- it's not
covered by those rules.
Mike Godwin said the raid evokes memories of the notorious Steve
Jackson Games raid by the Secret Service a decade ago, which led to
the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Solutions RE: It's Time To Circle The Wagons
~It's time to circle the wagons~
[APFN] We need everybody's brain power, we need solutions.
THAT PEN IS STILL MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD!
ASK AND YOU SALL RECEIVE: RESULTS:
Re: ~It's time to surround the wagons~
Mon Mar 19 22:37:26 2001
> Wall Street had quite a ride this past week. Analysts think that the decline
> may continue. OPEC has decided to cut production further adding to the
> economic crunch. With our economy weakening and the massive layoffs
> continuing, financial experts are quietly expressing their concerns
> about the next few months.
> We need everybody's brain power, we need solutions.
First, get the hell out of Wall Street - it's going lower, a lot lower. (See article on how
deep the recession already is in Alamance Independent at
http://www.alamanceind.com/nation/nation_1.html site down
Second, develop some kind of skill that is marketable on a barter or small-business
basis - like being a PC nerd, a gunsmith, a welder - something necessary to individuals
or businesses. Barterable skills will be particularly useful - and necessary - if/when the
current recession becomes a depression.
Third, don't waste your time - or your kid's - going into any trade that is already
glutted. If it's unprofitable for many if not most recent graduates now, it will be a
lot worse when people don't have the cash. Stay the hell out of law or dental school.
Fourth, remember that you will soon really be in the driver's seat on car and home
purchases - so defer them. Car dealers are already desperate - but will soon be much
Matt Maggio, Editor and Publisher,
America's most politically-incorrect newspaper:
Daniel Van; Kelley
Solution: [Fwd: Cheer Up]
Tue Mar 20 09:46:09 2001
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Cheer Up
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2001 21:28:15 -0800
From: "Daniel Van; Kelley" - Daniel_Kelley@email.msn.com
To: "Ken Vardon" - firstname.lastname@example.org
It was good to here from you. I am sorry you are not felling well. I too
have been deviled with ailments for some time now. I think it might be do
to our getting older.
I understand a lot of the frustration that you and many others feel about
the results of your efforts to inform others and find solutions. Your
efforts do serve far beyond what you would imagine. We would not be
communicating now if you had not kept the faith and conviction of your
As to problems and solutions:
It does not matter the specific nature of the problem involving corruption,
whether in government or elsewhere. Underlying any/all problems one might
have with a government agency is the fundamental lack of knowing that you
have only those rights and remedies that you, yourself, can enforce. The
State has no duty nor authority to enforce your private rights and remedies.
In fact, the State may only act in matters, criminal and civil, where it is
in the public interest, not your private interest. Where does everyone run
to when they have a problem? A public official or State agency, where they
are ignored through various means of administrative artifices and fictional
investigative processes. Does this sound familiar? Would this not be the
cause of the great anger and frustration in the lives, hearts and minds of
those you and I know.
I would own my own island, if I had a quarter for every time I have heard
someone complain that they wrote to their Congressman and he didn't do
anything, or they went to the District Attorney and he refused to do
anything, or "I ask the cop to arrest them and he refused, and the cop told
me it was a civil matter." The cop is right, even though the cop doesn't
really know the meaning of what he is saying. One, as a citizen in
compliance with the rule of law, has a civil duty to make the arrest or file
the criminal complaint. So it is a civil matter, in fact.
One of the most vile, corrupt and contemptuous lies every inferred, implied
or expressed by government actors is that they are authorized or obligated
to protect each of our persons, private interests and rights. This lie has
been, since 1938, the means by which there has been denial of immediate,
effective remedy to government corruption and unaccountability.
Cheer Up, we live in a Constitutional Republic. We live under the Rule of
Law, not men. The violation of any law, whether State or Federal, is
proscribed in all 50 States to be a crime or public offense. The lack of
the knowledge that you must enforce and, of course, know how to enforce,
your rights and remedies, is the only barrier to solution of government
There is always one immediate remedy for all citizens and that is the making
of a citizen arrest and/or the filing of a citizen criminal complaint.
Under our system and laws, when a crime is committed against us, or in our
presence, we, as a matter of law, may make a citizen arrest, or we may file
a criminal complaint directly before the magistrate for the issue of arrest
There is no possible way for anyone's rights to be violated without also
violating a multiplicity of CRIMINAL STATUTES, as well. There exists no
form of immunity for crimes committed by government actors, as there exists
in actions brought under civil law.
I have spent the last 6 years or more studying this issue and corresponding
with attorneys, judges and DA's. The idea of citizens making arrests or
filing criminal complaints quite literally scares them to tears. The
attorney's, for example, confide that they are afraid of being charged with
criminal negligence and criminal fraud, in stead of just mal-practice for
wrongfully and recklessly screwing up someone's life. They fear that
criminal conviction would most likely cause their disbarment. What a shame.
I have had criminal investigations initiated against me, at the request of
these judges and DA, after making my inquiries, as to the court rules and
procedures for citizen's filing criminal complaints and making arrests, as
provided for under California Penal Statutes. When I made my inquiries, as
to the crime suspected, upon which the investigations were initiated, the
investigations suddenly evaporated.
You see, the California Judicial Council has forgotten or has never seen fit
to establish rules and procedures to implement the execution of these laws.
After all, the American people are so dumbed down and/or stupid they would
never think of using these laws without going through some branch of
government for permission.
Over the past few years I have documented violations of various laws by
agents and employees of State and Federal Agencies in a broad range of
matters that are still pending and ripe for criminal prosecutions. I am now
ready to proceed to file the criminal complaints before the magistrate and
make my case for arrests and prosecutions. The filing, all at once of so
many criminal complaints charging criminal offenses against both State and
Federal agents and employees, supported with highly detailed documentation
and evidence, will send a message of warning across the nation to all
delinquent public servants, as to what is to become of them, if they
continue to ignore and disobey the laws of this Republic.
I anticipate, due to the political impact of exposing government agents and
employees to criminal prosecution, there will be a concerted effort by the
court to solicit and invoke the discretionary powers of the DA's Office to
refuse to prosecute to avoid these prosecutions. Fortunately for us, the
determination of probable cause for issuing an arrest warrant is a judicial
power and not an executive power.
I shall be requesting that the court appoint a special prosecutor at the
time of filing these criminal complaints. Case law supports this request.
Even if, thereafter, the DA should exercise his prerogative to assume the
prosecution from the special prosecutor, a well organized group of people,
as hereafter is suggested we assemble, could build a proverbial public fire
under a DA's butt he could not put out, by other than doing his job as a
To that end, it is my desire to gather, beforehand, those who are willing
and notably expert in various areas of law to assist the prosecution and to
give expert testimony at trial, if necessary.
Therefore, what I need is a hand from you in selecting and contacting those
whom you know and feel would be suited to work with me and my group to
execute this task. For example:
Perhaps you might know of (honest) attorneys or retired judges that would
like to be appointed as one of the special prosecutor,
Or, you might know of someone who has been in the employ of, say for
example, the IRS, Franchise Tax Board, DMV and could reasonably be
certified, as being able to give an expert opinion of policy, practice,
procedures and law governing those agencies,
Or even, you might know of those who would be willing to provide research
capability or who has experience in writing writs, briefs or points and
authorities to assist a special prosecutor.
You may have certain reliable contacts with national media that we can
prepare beforehand and arrange to have cover the events as they happen.
This is the best way to control the spin.
The areas of law that are targeted in these criminal complaints are criminal
law, of course; income tax law (State & Federal); property tax law/land
patents; corporate law; motor vehicle law (State & Federal); and social
The preparation and documentation of evidence for these criminal complaints
have been a long time in the making. Now its a matter of personnel, tactics
Well, as usual, I intended to get my thoughts across in just a couple of
paragraphs, but, as usual, I didn't.
I hope you get to feeling better soon. Please let me know your thoughts and
Daniel Van; Kelley
Expose the Federal Reserve
Tue Mar 20 11:15:25 2001
Anne Williamson exposes
How your money -- and life -- are
controlled by America's banking system
© 2001 WorldNetDaily.com
A major investigative exposť of the Federal
Reserve System is leading off the March edition
of WorldNetDaily's sister offline print
publication, the monthly WorldNet magazine.
Veteran journalist Anne Williamson, who has
written for the Wall Street Journal and the New
York Times, has authored a definitive and
eye-opening analysis of the nation's banking
system for WorldNet.
She is discussing this issue on national televion
and radio programs, including "The O'Reilly
Factor." (Editor's note: Producers wanting to book
Anne Williamson should e-mail Rebecca Hagelin,
WND vice president, communications.)
The in-depth, 11,000-word report begins this way:
"Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act on
the 22nd of December 1913, and from that day
forward the United States of America ceased to
be a Republic."
From that jarring opening salvo, Williamson
launches into a critical history of money,
banking, the Federal Reserve, how the Fed
manipulates elections and markets, who is
behind the Fed, and much more.
Typically, press treatment of the Federal
Reserve -- an organization shrouded with
mystery since its inception in 1913 -- amounts
either to establishment propaganda or
conspiracy-mongering hysteria. So WorldNet
sought out a true expert -- a journalist who has
testified before Congress -- to write this startling
Beginning with the March issue, WorldNet is
featuring each month a major "big-picture"
cover story exploring one of the truly crucial
issues of the day -- often ignored, distorted or
downplayed by the establishment press -- but
which directly affect Americans' lives.
The April issue, for example, will explore
whether the 16th Amendment -- the one that
introduced the income tax -- was ever actually
ratified. It will examine major issues and
controversies surrounding the income tax today,
and will also focus on the many citizens who are
openly challenging the Internal Revenue
In May, Anne Williamson is back with another
major exposť, this one on the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Future
issues will cover government spending, the
drug war, abortion, vaccines, the United Nations
and globalization, radical environmentalism,
evolution, gun control, secret societies,
education, and Christian persecution in the U.S.,
The editorial staff of WorldNetDaily and
SECRETS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE
Roger A. Stolley
The Created Energy and Financial Crisis
Tue Mar 20 10:44:19 2001
The Created Energy and Financial Crisis
The export of capitol and technology from America beginning with the
Marshall Plan, Import Export Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc.,
is nothing new. The lack of protective tariffs to protect us from NAFTA
and China is a major contributor to the downfall of America. The world
corporate structure to rule all the people, governments, and resources of
the world through the United Nations by controlling the appointment of
ambassadors to the United Nations is nothing new to people as myself that
know what is going on. World dictatorship and the revived Roman Empire is
nothing new. The regionalization of the world and redistribution of the
populations via UN policy is nothing new. The designation of the
Willamette Valley in Oregon as a world city by a commission in 1972 headed
by John D. Rockefeller the 3rd is nothing new. The sell out of America is
nothing new. The Marxist doctrine from each according to their ability to
each according to their needs and stealing from one class of citizen to
give to another is nothing new. Surprise, surprise, America is in
In the past America has used food as a weapon against its enemies. The
wealthy of the world knew the food supply of the American Natives stood in
the way of them taking their land so they had the vast herds of buffalo
killed off. We have used food to negotiate with other nations. If a wheat
deal had not been cut with China I suspect they would have entered a ground
war in Bosnia. Now, threw NAFTA they intend to destroy our capability to
feed out own people within our own borders from our own farms by dump cheap
produce on the American market from south of the border. The small orchard
growers and farmers will go under. Plus, two big agri business packing
plants have gone under in Salem Oregon area. In Hood River along the
Columbia River four years ago farmers got $7.00 a box for apples. Now they
are getting $2.00 a box and can't afford to keep raising fruit. In Ontario
Oregon some of the orchards did not harvest their crops because of the
increased fuel costs and the cheap fruit being brought up from south the
You want to be free. Close the Mexican border and repeal NAFTA and revoke
favored trade status with China. Make these nations pay an import tax.
Round up these illegal aliens and put them in a work camp for 5 years.
Serve notice on them we will not tolerate this any longer. Most of all,
if you want to be free get rid of the progressive graduated income, the
second plank of the Communist Manifesto, get rid of the property tax as
well, and have only a consumption tax. You buy, you pay. Exempt only food
and medicine. This country and people will never be free until we have a
fair and equal tax. As it is the corporations and wealthy assume more
wealth and the support of the government is on the back of the working person.
As it was in the American Revolution, the Sons and Daughters of Liberty
support a change in taxation and a fair tax, a consumption tax.
P.S. When I asked Portland General Electric if they wanted to lease my
property for a wind generation plant up here on the hill they told me they
weren't interested in developing any new energy sites because of energy
deregulation. When people in the Northwest had the lowest power rate in
the nation, and were going to get an even lower rate when the Bonneville
Power Administration's debt on the dams were about paid off, the business
in California were going to move up to Oregon for cheaper power. That is
when the congressional delegation from California talked Congress and the
stupid congressional delegation from Oregon such as Hatfield and Packwood
into supporting the new regional power Act that allowed the direct current
line from the Dalles Dam to be built to LA and the tax payers in the
Northwest pay for it and subsidize California power. Plus, they picked up
part of the decommissioning of the Washington Nuclear plants that were
going under. Instead of the Northwest citizen having a lower electric bill
they got socked for building the DC line and decommissioning the dangerous
nuclear plants. We are still dealing with the fish that glow in the
Columbia River. What about all that radioactive water that was put on the
food supply and the stomach cancer rate is up. You talk about government
coverup and corporate manipulation of the congressional staffs, you got it!
Then back in the 70s when people couldn't get gas at the gas station the
Department of Defense and Rockefeller Brother's Foundation were doing joint
operations, grants, war games, feeding information into computers that if
you create shortage in gasoline, how does it impact the cost of all the
other commodities such as beef, sugar, etc. How does the American People
react to crisis? The Shelll oil tanker that was in the Portland harbor
could not unload because the tanks were full on the shore, yet the people
could not get gasoline at the pumps. How dumb are the American sheep? Can
we afford to continue to send the Gordon Smith's the Blumenauers,
Feinsteins, Schumers, and the like back to Congress. No! Wake up America.
China is surrounding you. Mexico is eating you up from within. Your own
neighbors are a greater threat to you than any foreign power.
Freedom and Liberty With Responsiblity
Mr. Roger A. Stolley
The Sons and Daughters of Liberty Greet You
Re: ~It's time to surround the wagons~
Tue Mar 20 10:30:06 2001
This is a repeat of 1927, 1928, and 1929, when Wall Street pumped up
worthless paper (stock), and sucked in millions who bought on margin,
thinking that they could make money as the price of the paper stock went
up, but not realizing that the companies were not making any money! It
was all "blue sky hype," caused by such people as Joe Kennedy, etc.! He
was known with others as "market peggers!"
The above group would drive the price of
the worthless paper stock up, and then sell as a group! The price then
would go down, and the little guy would get wiped out! In 1929, the
Wall Street bankers joined the conspiracy, and called in the loans, and
restricted new loans to companies. The market and economy then went
into a depression! The Federal Reserve (Wall Street Bankers again),
refused to step in and save the economy!
My Dad smelled a "rat," in 1929, when a banker at the First National
Bank of Chicago, tried to sell him some gold stocks at a discount (my
Dad was in the bank to make a deposit that day)! My Dad, instead of
making a deposit, withdrew almost all of his money from the bank (and he
had considerable funds), and went on the street and sold all of his
stocks and bonds! Two weeks later, there was a crash, and he was
sitting with piles of cash! Even his own company made him a director
for his money! In the depths of the depression, he went into the market
again, but would only buy stocks which had a history of paying
He made a bundle again!
There are those who would try and convince you that there are things
that "just happen," in the market, and nobody knows why or how! This is
a base lie!
Market swings are caused by a tight group of "controllers," who work as
a team to pick the pockets of the people when the "fruit gets ripe," and
the Federal Reserve is part of that "tight group!"
During the depression, when Hoover was President, and Mellon was
Secretary of the Treasury, the following went around:
"Hoover blew the whistle, Mellon rang the bell. Wall Street caught the
signal, and the country went to hell!"
Hoover tried to save the country, but was too late, and he asked for
Roosevelt's help, but FDR would not help either, as he wanted to use the
depression to sweep him into office (which it did)! As President, he
first thing FDR did, was to close all of the banks, by executive order,
and under the wartime emergency act of 1933 (we were not at war, but we
are still under the same wartime law of 1933 tio this date of 2001)!
This caused a worse depression, and we did not get out of that
depression until we went to war in 1941
(and FDR did everything to get us into a war, as he almost had another
severe depression on hand in 1939, also caused the the Federal Reserve)!
The above is history that the schools do not teach, by order from
"above," and which those in the "know," don't want the general public
(the wage slaves and debt payers) to know!
Jack Denton 03-20-01 @ 4:35 A.M.
Re: ~It's time to surround the wagons~
Tue Mar 20 10:20:04 2001
I think that it is time the people joined together to have their voices
heard. We have been telling people things were bad for the last two years
and no one wanted to hear it.
How can people survive when prices keep going up on heating fuel and
gasoline, food, etc. The big corporations and the powers that be seem to
dictate the economy and these so-called experts do not have a clue what is
going on with the average everyday people in this country.
Tue Mar 20 10:13:04 2001
U.S.Constitution Article III Section 3 Defines TREASON as:
"Treason; definition, proof and punishment. Treason against the United
States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering
to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort...."
The enemy of the United States is the United Nations (The New World
Order). which is attempting to eliminate the sovereign status of this country,
and one of the necessary steps towards that goal is the confiscation of
Our Congressman here in the Second District of Oregon, Congressman Greg
Walden, does not vote according to his oath of office to support and defend
the Constitution..."so help me God." He votes according to what passes for
his conscience, or, to state it another way, simply whether he agrees or
disagrees with the proposed legislation; Constitution or Conscience
Giving Aid and Comfort to the Enemy - such as the United Nations - can be
a hanging offense.
Congressman Walden has voted numerous times in violation of the Second
Amendment, which forbids infringements on the absolute right to keep and
bear arms. That, in my opinion, definitely constitutes giving Aid and
Comfort to an Enemy sworn to our destruction. And such treason requires
two witnesses. His voting record is one, and I'm the second.
Hanging would be a suitable punishment, but I would prefer a more
poetic-type penalty - after his trial and conviction - such as execution
by a firing squad composed of members of a legittimate gun club that's
dedicated to the preservation of the Second Amendment.
But... considering the present Masonic/Illuminati-controlled Congress,
it would be next to impossible of finding any traitor guilty of anything.
So...in the final analysis. that puts it back in the hands of the voters.
The only solution: Vote ALL such anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment
traitors out of office.
THAT PEN IS STILL MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD!
"William D. & Johanna R." - email@example.com
Tue Mar 20 03:12:34 2001
In a 15-Mar-01 Posting, I suggested that this was an ideological meltdown -- that the move toward electric utilities deregulation was based on a false economic assumption that "competition leads to lower prices." False, because "competition" is a short-term condition that eventually resolves into a monopoly or a cartel.
Nevertheless, they went ahead and did it. "All the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again." They have created a "Utilities Monster" and the genie is out of the bottle. What will be the effect of a modest 300% increase in electric prices? Many businesses will close their doors (or move to Mexico), and those that remain will have to increase prices. Sales will drop. Increase prices still higher?
Meanwhile, thanks to immigration and the growth of "contract labor", more and more Americans are working for under $10 per hour (a popular credit-line cutoff). They will cry for higher wages to offset the cost of living.
And, meanwhile, virtually all of the 50 new power plants under construction in the Western States are all gas-fired. Expect natural gas shortages. It has been estimated that, in the state of Oregon, new gas-fired generators will increase statewide demand for natural gas by 150%.
All the while, "white flight" from the cities to the suburbs continues, a delayed reaction to school desegregation. Commuting distances have increased by 300% and the electric grid is stressed -- 50% of electricity generated is lost in the grid. Long-distance power transmission is very inefficient.
There is some hope for Decentralized Power production, but can it happen fast enough to address the present crisis? I doubt it. Of course, the President could use his war powers.
But the ideological meltdown continues -- in education policy, immigration policy, affirmative action, ... I could go on ad infinitum. The entire "system" is based on a set of lies. It is beginning to crack.
How much of the "economic growth" over the past 20 years is due to immigration? As you increase the population, the economy will naturally expand. As you lower wages, corporate profits will expand, supporting higher stock prices. The United States has become addicted to increasing supply of immigrant labor. As the economy contracts, these people will not go home. Affirmative Action, minority activism and racial friction will increase. It's Doomsday, folks.
It is time to begin following the Populist Agenda of Parochialism. Time is running out. We must learn to fight "big" with "little". Fight "global" with "local".
Soaring Electric Use More Fiction Than Fact
Mon Mar 19 22:29:17 2001
Soaring Electric Use More Fiction Than Fact / Chronicle investigation finds
power companies manipulate data to excuse their towering rates
Power companies say it so often, and with such
certainty, that it has become a virtual mantra:
"Skyrocketing" energy use by Californians is a root
cause of the state's power crisis, and justification for
surging electricity prices.
But a computer analysis of electricity usage data by
The Chronicle reveals that the mantra is a myth --
that overall growth in electricity demand hasn't been
nearly as great as the industry portrays it.
The industry has painted the summer of 2000 as the
equivalent of a 100-year storm in meteorology -- an
event so powerful and unexpected that the existing
infrastructure was devastated by its force.
The statistics show that 2000, taken in total, was
nothing of the sort. Moreover, two independent
state agencies' assessments of California's power
plant capacity appear to show that the growth
should have been easily accommodated.
The companies have defended their practice of
increasingly taking power- generation plants out of
service by arguing that heavy demand and
consequent plant usage necessitated major,
"The claims that demand growth is rampant and that
it was totally unexpected and due to the Internet
economy, to Silicon Valley, or server farms,
or people recharging cell phones -- that's bogus,"
said Tom Kelly, assistant executive director of the
California Energy Commission. "About as bogus as
you can get."
The Chronicle's findings are based on data collected
by the California Independent System Operator, a
manager of the state's electricity grid. They show:
-- Total electricity consumption in California
increased only 4.75 percent in 2000 from 1999, a
sharp contrast to claims of industry representatives,
who have repeatedly relied on isolated, loose or
selective comparisons that make growth appear as
high as 20 percent. In fact, the single greatest hour
of electricity usage in 2000 was actually lower than
any peak demand period in 1999 or 1998.
-- Average peak demand -- the average of the
highest hour of electricity usage for each day --
increased only 4.79 percent from 1999 to 2000.
Even during the months of May to September in
2000, when the greatest spikes in electricity usage
occur, demand growth was only 8.31 percent
higher than the same period the year before.
-- More than 30 days of critical power shortage
warnings, so-called Stage 3 emergencies, and two
days of blackouts this year occurred at times of
moderate energy use -- levels often below those at
which neither warnings nor blackouts have occurred
in the past.
The findings appear to buttress suspicions that the
"skyrocketing demand" explanation for rising energy
prices is a cover for what is really happening --
that power companies have simply started charging
more for an essential commodity, regardless of
whether it is in short supply.
Presented with The Chronicle's findings, Gary
Ackerman, a representative for the Western Power
Trading Forum, a trade group representing power
companies, said the calculations support the
industry position that electricity demand is growing
"That's pretty healthy growth for California as
opposed to the long-term historical average, which
is close to 2 percent," he said. "To me, that's really
Energy demand is certainly on the rise in California
-- growth of more than 4 percent is still double what
was projected -- and the state has obviously fallen
behind in building power plants.
Even though a recent study found California ranked
47th out of the 50 states in per-capita energy
consumption, the surging demand explanation has
become so accepted that leading officials accept it
as gospel. Gov. Gray Davis has made energy
conservation -- 10 percent, at that -- a centerpiece
of his efforts to solve the crisis.
"Energy use is growing," said state Sen. John
Burton, D-San Francisco, citing the growth of
Silicon Valley and high-tech operations statewide.
"There's been tremendous growth, whether
manufacturing or high tech -- cell phones, faxes,
whatever. The stuff is growing."
Yet the energy industry has been steadfast in its
insistence that the consumer is largely to blame. In
testimony and submissions to government bodies
considering prescriptions for the crisis, energy
demand growth has consistently been overstated.
Joe Bob Perkins, the chief operating officer of
Houston-based Reliant Energy Inc., told the U.S.
Senate in January that California's growing economy
and high summer temperatures caused electricity
use to "surge dramatically" -- a demand growth of
Richard Wheatley, a spokesman for Reliant, said
Perkins' testimony was based on estimates by the
federal Energy Information Administration of
monthly retail electricity sales.
"We do stand by that," Wheatley said.
"Unfortunately, it does not track with ISO data."
The industry-backed Edison Electric Institute said in
a report that electricity demand grew by anywhere
from 5 percent to 21 percent during the spring of
2000, compared with the same period a year
Russell Tucker, an economist for the institute, said
the group's figures were derived by identifying the
single highest hour of electricity demand for each
spring month of 1999 and 2000 and comparing
them, finding the May peak rose 21 percent.
Granted, the state Energy Commission uses the
same model to determine whether California has
enough plant capacity to meet demand. But the
presentation makes it appear that overall demand,
not just the absolute peak, is growing by 21
percent. When the peak of each day is averaged
and compared from year to year, May's figure was
much lower: 12.79 percent.
Also, nowhere did Edison's report note that the
peak hour of 2000, a load of 43,784 megawatts on
Aug. 16, was actually lower than the peak hours of
either of the previous two years -- 45,884 on July
12, 1999, or 44,406 on Sept.
The Chronicle analysis of average peak demand
showed that no month last year grew more than
June's 15.34 percent, though no blackouts occurred
in that month. May and June were the only months
when demand growth exceeded 10 percent, the
analysis showed. Most months recorded 4 percent
or 5 percent, and some -- such as September --
were less than 3 percent.
Two months, October and December, had demand
levels lower than the year before -- 4.22 percent
less for October, 1.46 percent lower for December.
Mike Florio, a consumer lawyer and board member
of the ISO, said that even growth of less than 5
percent from 1999 to 2000 would seem overstated,
since 1999 was a relatively mild weather year and
2000 was a much hotter one. "You are quite right,"
Florio said. " 'Skyrocketing' demand is a myth."
Consumer representatives and some politicians have
long suspected that, rather than dire imbalances
between supply and demand, market manipulation
is behind the crisis.
Generators and power marketers adamantly deny
this, saying they have done everything they could to
keep the lights on. They say they ran aging, decrepit
plants at higher-than-normal levels last summer to
accommodate what they described as
unprecedented demand. They also say that, at great
expense, they delayed much-needed maintenance in
order to keep the power flowing.
Their claims have received some support from the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which said
in a report last month that it found no evidence
power companies were using maintenance
schedules to manipulate supply. The report,
however, was heavily qualified by the FERC, which
said it did not investigate other forms of
manipulation. Moreover, the agency acknowledged
that the bulk of its investigation was conducted by
simply calling power plants and questioning them
over the telephone.
The supply side of the energy equation is harder to
penetrate, in part because supply data are
confidential. Thus, the question of how blackouts
could have occurred at such low levels of demand
in January is hard to answer. What is clear is that, at
times, during the crisis this year, as much as 12, 000
megawatts of electricity supply have been
unavailable for use, mostly because of unplanned
plant outages -- about four times the level
anticipated by the ISO.
Power companies say the old plants they bought
were not capable of producing to the levels
sketched out by the ISO and the Energy
Commission, and that everything from low water
conditions, emissions limitations and high
temperatures last year caused less energy to be
available than was anticipated.
But others suggest that what began as a shortage
caused by a withholding of supply to drive up price
has turned into one caused by withholdings out of
fear of not being paid.
What did go up, unquestionably, were wholesale
While average electricity usage during the heaviest
hours last year increased by less than 5 percent,
prices charged by power companies to the utilities
that deliver juice to consumers increased more than
In June, the cost of a megawatt hour increased
more than fivefold, going from the 1999 level of
$30.53 to $170.60. In October, prices doubled
over the same period a year earlier, going from
$53.47 to $111.04. And in December -- despite a
1.46 percent decline in electricity usage from the
previous December -- peak wholesale electricity
prices hit $425.59. They'd been $31.88 one year
Then the pace of price increases began to
accelerate within the last six months of 2000.
Overall, average peak usage during December was
about 31,200 megawatts, about a fifth lower than it
was in August. Average prices in December? They
just about doubled, to $425 a megawatt hour.
The companies' explanation for rising prices despite
falling demand was that more and more plants had
to be taken offline for repairs, decreasing supply.
Even given the high number of inoperable plants,
questions remain about why the existing supply
could not cover demand.
On the blackout days of Jan. 17 and 18 fewer
plants were offline -- and more electricity was
available -- than on days when the state managed to
squeeze by without turning out the lights.
Even today, with Stage 3 alerts having faded away,
at least temporarily, demand levels remain more or
less the same as when California was in a constant
state of emergency. Moreover, the lists of offline
plants are as long as ever.
AMPLE POWER SHOULD EXIST
The Energy Commission and the ISO have
concluded that California's power plants are
capable of generating more than 45,000 megawatts
of electricity. That means that even with plant repair
outages, low water levels decreasing hydraulic
generation, air-pollution rules and other
environmental constraints, the power companies
should be able to accommodate all but the most
extreme spikes in demand.
According to industry data obtained by The
Chronicle, the Western Systems Coordinating
Council, a government-backed trade group in Salt
Lake City, concluded California would have
considerable surpluses throughout 2000, including
margins as high as 39 percent in December, based
on data provided to it by the ISO. Even under low
water conditions, the ISO reported, the state would
have total power resources of 47,532 megawatts in
that month. Yet unplanned outages were far higher,
and the system began to crash that month and into
this year, at far lower levels of demand.
"Clearly," Florio said, "we should not be having a
shortage at 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve, when the only
person awake is Santa Claus."
Chronicle Database Editor Erin McCormick
assisted in data analysis for this re
Gold Standard Press
The solution: ~It's time to surround the wagons~
Mon Mar 19 22:19:01 2001
Start our own economy of self-sufficient intra-trading Patriots who won't
get caught holding worthless paper-money, and will own lots of workable land
outright, with plenty of available power. I think I found the County in
which to base our activity.
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