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Energy Crisis of Confidence

February 03, 2002

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) wants to blame the Bush administration for not putting out the fire, i.e., the "energy crisis," but isn't interested in who's responsible for starting it ("Bush Opened Door to Enron, but Not to a State in Crisis," Commentary, Jan. 30). She knows full well that the culprit is Gov. Gray Davis. You don't have to pay for what you don't buy, and Davis could have stopped the energy crisis in a nanosecond simply by allowing the retail cost of electricity to be priced at market. Instead he let the providers, Edison and PG&E, bankrupt themselves and then spent the state's surplus because he didn't have the courage to do the obvious right thing.

What is particularly galling and sad is that doing the right thing would have been almost painless for consumers--we would have quickly turned off the computer and lights not in use--and the exorbitant prices paid for marginal use would have vanished. When our country faced a crisis, President Bush stepped up to the plate; when California faced its crisis, Davis retreated to his rhetorical bunker and started looking for someone else to blame.

Feinstein will have to try another tack. This dog won't hunt.

Kent Schmidt

La Canada

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Feinstein's commentary speaks for itself. Enron, a hideously corrupt and bankrupt behemoth (whose full story will probably never be known, thanks to paper shredding), had full access to the Bush White House and its policymaking machinery. I, through my popularly elected representatives, did not. Well, I have formed a new corporation of my own. It is called "My Vote." I have total access to this new company. The Bush administration will have none.

Gary Garshfield

Irvine

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I was disappointed in Feinstein's commentary. Although I believe that Bush should have given a hearing to the senator, it is important that every Californian recognize that the energy problem has been mostly self-inflicted. It was bipartisan to boot.

Stanley Lampert

Los Angeles

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I was surprised that Feinstein was upset that Bush would meet with officials from Enron and other energy companies while not even responding to her inquiries.

Doesn't she get it? Representatives of millions of dollars in contributions are much more important to Dubya than a senator who represents millions from a state that didn't vote for our "selected" president. By this time I would have thought that our senator would know the definition of a "compassionate conservative" Republican: The president is compassionate to all the companies that gave him money and conservative in his approach to government intervention to help the common man.

Eli J. Grossman

Brentwood

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