Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Immigration and Power

Background facts you need to appreciate this story:

1) In response to the new immigration law, Los Angeles City Council voted to boycott trade with Arizona.

2) LA gets 25% of its power from Arizona.

Emphasis on the fightin' words is mine:

An Arizona Corporations Commissioner responds to LA Mayor Villaraigosa with an open letter: "If an economic boycott is truly what you desire, I will be happy to encourage Arizona utilities to renegotiate your power agreements so Los Angeles no longer receives any power from Arizona-based generation. I am confident that Arizona's utilities would be happy to take those electrons off your hands. If, however, you find that the City Council lacks the strength of its convictions to turn off the lights in Los Angeles and boycott Arizona power, please reconsider the wisdom of attempting to harm Arizona's economy.

People of goodwill can disagree over the merits of SB 1070. A state-wide economic boycott of Arizona is not a message sent in goodwill."

Full story here.

[Added 20 June 2010: Cal Coast News rounds up the large deals with Arizona companies that many of the more rhetorically overheated California city governments have quietly consummated since getting on the bandwagon. The boycott seems to have disappeared down the memory hole.]


TGP said...

So the question becomes...

Can LA find another vendor for 25% of its electricity before AZ finds out it's not getting tax revenues on that electricity.

There's got to be a smart guy in Nevada somewhere who's going to buy the electricity for less than AZ was selling it for and sell it for a nice markup to LA.

Michael Caton said...

I very much doubt that it will go further than this open letter and LA's initial declaration that they won't do business with AZ. Where money is involved people quickly find end runs around their own ideological positions. This is why even at the height of the U.S.'s anti-Saddam rhetoric fully 1/3rd of Iraqi oil was being consumed in American gas tanks. But as a general rule, anytime there is open, inter-bubble rhetorical confrontation in writing, positions are clarified, posturing is exposed, and people have to figure out where they stand.