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Who is responsible for the rolling power outages in California?

Former president of the California Public Utilities Commission said California ISO should be able to handle the current tax on the grid.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Loretta Lynch, former president of the California Public Utilities Commission responded to two tweets from President Trump saying California democrats intentionally implemented rolling blackouts.

“In California, Democrats have intentionally implemented rolling blackouts — forcing Americans in the dark. Democrats are unable to keep up with energy demand...," Trump tweeted.

"...Meanwhile, I gave America energy independence in fact, so much energy we could never use it all. The Bernie/Biden/AOC Green New Deal plan would take California’s failed policies to every American!”

“I saw it and, once again, he lives in a fact-free environment,” said Lynch. “I think California definitely has its shirttail out. The problem is, the ISO is not a California government agency. It’s a private corporation that runs according to the rules of the federal government.”

She said California ISO needs to do its job.

“What they’re saying is, ‘Hey, it’s hard,’” explained Lynch. “Well guess what? That’s why they’re paid the big bucks. It’s their job. It’s their only job to keep the lights on. So what they’re doing is once again, not pointing fingers at the Trump administration’s lax rules, that allow the electricity sellers to withhold power until the price goes up. Instead, they’re blaming renewable energy that they work with every hour of every day successfully.”

She said other grid operators are doing their job just fine despite the heat.

“The problem here is other grid operators are doing the right thing,” said Lynch. “The actual California government-controlled operators like LADWP or SMUD in Sacramento aren’t having blackouts because they know how to run their grid.”

She says because many businesses and restaurants aren’t open right now, the state’s not even at peak energy consumption.

“2006 was the very most power California ever needed,” explained Lynch. “It was over 50,000 megawatts. We have not approached 50,000 megawatts over this last heatwave.”

She said the utilities are not using the reserves they have at their disposal.

“The utilities have paid for reserves to be used in just this situation,” said Lynch. “The problem is, the private corporation that runs our electricity grid has failed to use the reserves we have. So it’s like buying insurance and then not using it.”

Lynch said California should re-evaluate how it manages its grid.

“I think we need to take a real hard look at whether this system still works for us,” said Lynch. “Because I don’t think it protects the consumer, I think it protects the energy seller. And that’s the last group we want to protect because they have enough money to protect themselves.”

ABC10 reached out to California ISO for comment but did not hear back by deadline.

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