Friday, January 20, 2006

Local Issues

So if you live in oil rich Qatar, far from PDX, you might not know much about our local energy grid. We plug in to Bonneville, started during the FDR administration, which was very heavily into public works. Our hydropower network extends back up the Columbia, which is frustrating to salmon (it was plenty hard even before all those turbines got in the way). We export a lot of this hydropower, including on ultra high voltage DC (don't touch).

So you might wonder, given all this, why we had Enron trying to run things up here, using PGE as a front company. Enron was a Texas thing after all. What's that got to do with Oregon? Texas was messing with California too. They tell me Texas has its own power grid, somewhat separate from the surrounding ones, so I'm not sure how they broker everything from Houston or Dallas or whatever. I think they wear big hats and chew stuff. Oregonians have a lot of lame ideas about Texans I think (I drove through there once, on Route 66 or one of those).

Here's something I heard about oil rich princes in Qatar -- this is hearsay and maybe isn't true. Anxious to try alcohol, but not old enough (because in Islam, you're never old enough), these guys with money to burn escape the scrutiny of their elders by boarding commerical jets and flying first class to Europe and places, home by evening ("yeah mom, I learned a lot in school"). The moral depravity begins even before they break out the wine and cheese. I mean, just look at those stewardesses, not properly covered. For shame!