Mythbusting the 2000/2001 power crisis in CA
The power crisis in 2000/2001 in California was caused by fraud.
Period, full stop.
Power plants were shut down intentionally, distribution system overloads were faked. Power generated in California was sold over the border into other states and then resold back to CAISO at 10 times the cost.
The state bears the responsibility of huffing open-market hooey and putting together a power market that was easily defrauded. This doesn't excuse in any way those who were directly responsible -- the power companies (like Enron) who defrauded the state and were subsequently caught doing it red handed.
Ken Lay of Enron was instrumental in getting our current governor to run in the recall campaign against Gray Davis, and Arnold repaid Lay immediately after taking office by dropping Lt Gov Cruz Bustamonte's multi-billion dollar fraud lawsuit against Enron et al.
The idea that us Californians simply NIMBY'd our way into the crisis is a myth. The loads in 2000/2001 were not exceptional (they were higher in previous years and there were no problems), and as soon as Gov Davis signed extortionate long term rate contracts, there were no problems again.