Time for a new team

I thought this energy crunch was getting serious a couple of weeks ago when the lights actually went out in California homes. But I knew we were in deep trouble when I heard the latest proposal from the Independent System Operator: watch the Super Bowl in groups. Yikes! With the crisis threatening to bring down the economy, the big thinkers in the ISO come up with that?

All ideas in a crisis are welcome. But if “viewer pooling” was the best the ISO could come up with, then it may be time to look elsewhere. Who’s running the energy ship of state and shouldn’t they quit arranging the deck chairs? It’s time to look for a new captain. Someone who’s thinking big and outside the box.

We should listen to the different voices that are promoting a pointed attack on the problem. One is California state Treasurer Phil Angelides who is proposing a state power authority to get us new generating plants while at the same time building alternative energy sources. (See “A brighter shade of gray,” by Bill Bradley, page 18.)

Another is San Francisco mayor Willie Brown (see Bites, page 10) who wants to hand over real power, and an open checkbook, to an Energy Czar who could affect change quickly.

Or we could thank the Giants for their performance on the field. It did help cut down on viewership.