Could selling PG&E to its customers help solve California's power problems?
2019-11-07 00:00:00


JUDY WOODRUFF: When wildfires broke out againin California last month, residents weren't(1)
朱迪·伍德鲁夫(JUDY WOODRUFF):上个月加州再次发生野火时,居民并没有

just worried about the fires themselves.(2)
只是担心火灾本身。

Many were angry and frustrated over intentionalblackouts that were designed to reduce the(3)
许多人为减少电力供应而故意停电感到愤怒和沮丧

risks of even more fires.(4)
发生更多火灾的风险。

The state's largest utility, PG&E, was thetarget of much of that anger.(5)
该州最大的公用事业公司PG&E是许多愤怒的目标。

The company's maintenance of its infrastructure,or, often, the lack of it, in recent years(6)
近年来,公司对基础设施的维护,或者经常是缺乏基础设施

has contributed to and sparked at least fiveprevious wildfires, with deadly consequences.(7)
已经造成并引发了至少五场先前的野火,造成了致命的后果。

Now, as William Brangham tells us, politicalleaders in Northern and Central California(8)
现在,正如威廉·布朗汉姆(William Brangham)告诉我们的那样,北加利福尼亚和中加利福尼亚的政治领导人

are saying it's time to push PG&E aside fora different solution.(9)
在说是时候将PG&E放在一边以寻求其他解决方案了。

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That's right Judy.(10)
威廉·布朗汉姆:没错,茱蒂。

PG&E is the largest investor-owned utilityin any one state.(11)
PG&E是任何一个州最大的投资者所有的公用事业。

They serve 15 million customers.(12)
他们为1500万客户提供服务。

Last year, PG&E filed for bankruptcy protectionbecause it's $30 billion in debt because of(13)
去年,PG&E申请了破产保护,因为其欠下300亿美元的债务,原因是

liabilities from last years fires.(14)
去年火灾引起的债务。

Because of the company's poor record, mayorsof more than a dozen cities and towns in California(15)
由于公司业绩不佳,加利福尼亚州十几个城镇的市长

are calling for a buyout of PG&E.(16)
要求收购PG&E。

They want to turn it into a customer-ownedcooperative instead.(17)
他们想将其变成客户拥有的合作社。

This coalition of mayors, representing a thirdof all of PG&E's customers, is asking the(18)
代表PG&E所有客户的三分之一的市长联盟要求

state's utility commission to consider theirproposal before approving any bankruptcy plan.(19)
州公用事业委员会在批准任何破产计划之前先考虑其提议。

How this all would work is the subject ofmany questions.(20)
这一切将如何工作是许多问题的主题。

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is the mayor whofirst proposed this.(21)
圣何塞市市长山姆·利卡多(Sam Liccardo)是第一个提出此建议的市长。

And he joins me now via Skype.(22)
他现在通过Skype加入了我。

Mayor, thank you very, very much for beinghere.(23)
市长,非常感谢您的光临。

For those of us who do not live in Californiaand have not been experiencing these fires(24)
对于那些不住在加利福尼亚并且从未经历过这些大火的人

and these blackouts, can you just give usa sense of the anger and the discontent that(25)
和这些停电,你能给我们一种愤怒和不满的感觉吗

you're hearing from people about PG&E?(26)
您正在听到有关PG&E的消息吗?

SAM LICCARDO, Mayor of San Jose, California:I hear a lot of frustration from residents,(27)
加利福尼亚州圣何塞市市长SAM LICCARDO:我听到很多居民感到沮丧,

and I know a lot of my mayoral colleaguesfeel the same way.(28)
我知道很多市长同事也有同样的感觉。

And they're hearing it because the wildfires,the power safety shutoffs are displacing millions(29)
他们听到这是因为野火,电源安全开关使数百万人流离失所

of Californians, leaving millions of us inthe dark.(30)
的加利福尼亚人,使数以百万计的我们陷入黑暗。

This is no way for people to live, particularlyin the most advanced economy in the planet.(31)
人们无法生存,特别是在地球上最先进的经济中。

We can do better, and people are very frustratedabout where we are.(32)
我们可以做得更好,人们对我们的处境感到非常沮丧。

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So you're spearheading thisto transform from an investor-owned utility(33)
威廉·布朗汉姆(WILLIAM BRANGHAM):因此,您率先将其转变为投资者拥有的公用事业

to one owned by ratepayers, just ordinaryCalifornians.(34)
归纳税人所有,只有普通的加利福尼亚人。

Why is that the solution?(35)
为什么是解决方案?

SAM LICCARDO: A customer-owned utility providestwo advantages.(36)
SAM LICCARDO:客户拥有的实用程序具有两个优点。

One, it enables us to ensure that the financialinterest of the company will be aligned with(37)
第一,它使我们能够确保公司的财务利益与

the public interest.(38)
公共利益。

And, secondly, it enables the company, whenit emerges from bankruptcy, to have better(39)
其次,它使公司从破产中脱颖而出时能够拥有更好的

access to capital markets, which will be reallycritical, because we will need billions of(40)
进入资本市场非常重要,因为我们将需要数十亿美元的资金

dollars of investment in maintenance and infrastructureupgrades to ensure that electrical power can(41)
在维护和基础设施升级方面的大量投资,以确保电力可以

be safely and reliably delivered to California.(42)
安全可靠地运送到加利福尼亚。

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Isn't it a matter of incentives,though?(43)
WILLIAM BRANGHAM:但这不是激励问题吗?

Meaning, if you're trying to please shareholdersand investors, then maybe that's not the best(44)
意思是,如果您想取悦股东和投资者,那可能不是最好的

incentive structure to deliver reliable energyto people.(45)
激励结构,为人们提供可靠的能源。

SAM LICCARDO: Well, that's certainly partof it.(46)
SAM LICCARDO:嗯,这当然是其中的一部分。

PG&E has provided, I believe, $7 billion individends to shareholders over the last decade,(47)
相信PG&E在过去十年中向股东提供了70亿美元的股息,

at a time which it has significantly underinvestedin basic maintenance for vegetation and upgrades(48)
当时它在植被的基本维护和升级方面的投资明显不足

of infrastructure that, in some parts of thestate, are a century-old.(49)
在该州的某些地区,已有100多年的历史了。

So, clearly, we need to ensure that dollarsgo where they're most needed.(50)
因此,显然,我们需要确保美元流向最需要的地方。

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But why are you confidentthat cities and states and counties can run(51)
威廉·布朗汉姆(WILLIAM BRANGHAM):但是,您为什么对城市,州和县可以运营充满信心

that more efficiently, this enormous utility?(52)
效率更高,功能如此强大?

SAM LICCARDO: Well, I certainly am not goingto be running the utility, and I don't want(53)
SAM LICCARDO:好的,我当然不会运行该实用程序,我也不想

any elected officials on the board either.(54)
董事会中的任何当选官员。

We see plenty of examples of customer-ownedbusinesses, particularly the financial industry,(55)
我们看到许多客户拥有的企业的例子,尤其是金融业,

for example, credit unions or mutual insurancecompanies, that are very competently run.(56)
例如,非常有能力的信用合作社或相互保险公司。

They simply have, as their boss, the customers.(57)
他们只是拥有作为客户的老板。

And this is not a new concept in the utilitycontext either.(58)
在实用程序环境中,这也不是一个新概念。

There are hundreds of customer-owned utilitiesin this country.(59)
这个国家有数百家客户拥有的公用事业。

Most of them are very small and rural, butthere are some larger ones as well.(60)
他们中的大多数都非常小并且在农村,但是也有一些较大的。

And, obviously, they will need professionalmanagement and professional boards.(61)
而且,显然,他们将需要专业的管理人员和专业委员会。

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Mayor, how do you deal withthe thorny issue of liability?(62)
WILLIAM BRANGHAM:市长,您如何处理棘手的责任问题?

As you know, PG&E was saddled with $30 billionin liabilities from last year's fires.(63)
如您所知,PG&E在去年的大火中背负了300亿美元的债务。

Are cities and counties and the state readyto take on that kind of risk?(64)
市县和州是否已准备好承担这种风险?

SAM LICCARDO: This wouldn't change the questionof who's responsible for liability, beyond(65)
萨姆·利卡多(SAM LICCARDO):这不会改变谁负责赔偿责任的问题

the fact that shareholders who might see theirequity go to zero, as they -- I think they(66)
事实上,那些可能看到自己的权益的股东会变成零,因为他们-我认为他们

are today at PG&E.(67)
今天在PG&E。

I think they have lost about 90 percent oftheir stock value.(68)
我认为他们损失了大约90%的股票价值。

And so it would be customers who lose equity.(69)
因此,失去资产的是客户。

There's no contribution that's required fromcities and counties simply because we're urging(70)
仅仅因为我们敦促城市和县没有任何贡献

a customer-owned utility.(71)
客户拥有的公用事业。

The liability questions are thorny, no matterwhat.(72)
无论如何,责任问题都是棘手的。

And, ultimately, I think we all recognizethat ratepayers are paying more to deal with(73)
最终,我认为我们大家都承认纳税人正在付出更多的钱来应对

much of this.(74)
很多。

For example, we just had a $21 billion wildfirefund that was created by the governor and(75)
例如,我们只有210亿美元的野火基金,由州长和

legislature.(76)
立法机关。

About half of that is funded by rate increases.(77)
其中大约一半是由加息来资助的。

So, we all know, ultimately, the ratepayersare on the hook.(78)
因此,我们都知道,最终,纳税人会陷入困境。

And if the ratepayers are on the hook, thenthe ratepayers should own the company.(79)
而且如果纳税人陷入困境,那么纳税人应该拥有公司。

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Regardless of what happenswith PG&E, you still have an enormous set(80)
WILLIAM BRANGHAM:不管PG&E发生什么,您仍然有很多选择

of challenges.(81)
挑战。

I mean, you have got to deal with housingand zoning hardening and making the existing(82)
我的意思是,您必须处理住房和分区硬化问题,并使现有的

grid more safe.(83)
网格更安全。

Plus, you have got a warming state, you havegot climate change and droughts.(84)
另外,您的状态正在变暖,气候变化和干旱。

I mean, that is a colossal set of issues todeal with.(85)
我的意思是,这是要处理的一系列重大问题。

SAM LICCARDO: Oh, absolutely.(86)
萨姆·利卡多:哦,绝对。

And there's no question that it's going torequire a lot of investment, including investment(87)
毫无疑问,这将需要大量投资,包括投资

in our own cities.(88)
在我们自己的城市中。

In San Jose, we're looking at, how can webetter build microgrids to ensure we have(89)
在圣何塞,我们正在研究如何更好地构建微电网以确保我们拥有

fire stations and hospitals that can be takenoff the grid when problems come up?(90)
出现问题时可以撤离电网的消防局和医院吗?

We will be doing a lot of that.(91)
我们将做很多事情。

And I know a lot of other cities will as well.(92)
而且我知道很多其他城市也会如此。

And this is not going to be cheap.(93)
而且这不会便宜。

That's why it's important for us to have -- atleast to have a utility that has the ability(94)
这就是为什么对我们来说重要的是-至少拥有一个具有以下功能的实用程序

to get access to capital markets and makethose critical investments.(95)
获得进入资本市场并进行这些关键投资的机会。

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: PG&E earlier this week,in response to your proposal, said that it(96)
威廉·布朗汉姆:PG&E本周早些时候在回应您的建议时说

is firmly convinced that a government or customertakeover is not the optimal solution.(97)
我们坚信政府或客户接管不是最佳解决方案。

How do you respond to that?(98)
您如何回应?

SAM LICCARDO: Well, obviously, I disagree.(99)
萨姆·利卡多:显然,我不同意。

And I think a lot of other folks disagreeas well.(100)
我认为许多其他人也不同意。

4PG&E also said that they're not for sale,(101)
4 PG&E还说他们不出售,

but, in fact, they're in bankruptcy court.(102)
但实际上,他们在破产法庭上。

So they are.(103)
是的。

And it's going to be up to a bankruptcy judgeand the state public utilities commission(104)
这将取决于破产法官和州公共事业委员会

to determine really what this company lookslike, ultimately.(105)
最终真正确定这家公司的模样。

And I appreciate, obviously, there are folkswithin PG&E who would like things to say just(106)
而且,我很感谢PG&E中的某些人想说些什么

as -- the way they are.(107)
就像它们的样子一样。

But, right now, the status quo is not acceptable.(108)
但是,目前,现状是不能接受的。

We can't continue in this way.(109)
我们不能以这种方式继续。

And the cost of doing nothing is far, fargreater than the cost of taking a hard look(110)
无所作为的代价远远大于认真研究的代价

about how we can transform this company intoone that would be both more responsive and(111)
关于我们如何将这家公司转变为响应速度更快,

more responsible.(112)
更负责任。

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Mayor Sam Liccardoof San Jose, California, thank you very much.(113)
WILLIAM BRANGHAM:好的,加利福尼亚圣何塞市市长Sam Liccardo非常感谢。

SAM LICCARDO: Thank you.(114)
萨姆·利卡多:谢谢。

It's a pleasure, William.(115)
很高兴,威廉。


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