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Utilities: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

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John Oliver discusses the incredible amount of power we give electric utility companies, how weakly regulated they are, and why they get such bad Yelp reviews.

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14 Μάι 2022

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Winter Soldier
Winter Soldier Πριν μήνα
I love how corporations are “people” when it comes to voting rights (illegal campaign financing) but when it comes to responsibility for horrific actions… “we’re just a company. We’re not criminally liable.”
Rodolfo R
Rodolfo R Πριν 7 ημέρες
This is due to a supreme court ruling. Congress can fix it. If only the filibuster didn't stand in the way.
Laurie Guilbeau
Laurie Guilbeau Πριν 11 ημέρες
And when it comes to freedom of religion (Hobby Lobby refusing to provide health insurance for birth control)
Glodi Bahati
Glodi Bahati Πριν 11 ημέρες
o
blackcountryme
blackcountryme Πριν 12 ημέρες
I read about that, how the flying expletive did you guys let that happen?
Isaac LePes
Isaac LePes Πριν μήνα
It still amazes me that we get some of the best news coverage from comedians. Sometimes, John's show is like an entertaining version of 60 Minutes.
cesmaeili
cesmaeili Πριν 12 ημέρες
Remember when he said Biden was needed to be office, johns not always right, but I do like the way he presents news , even if he’s wrong half the time
MercuryFalcon
MercuryFalcon Πριν 17 ημέρες
it is called infotainment and has been growing to be very popular and mainstream since at least jon stewart in the modern day
Surfer Rosa
Surfer Rosa Πριν 21 ημέρα
@J T J T, listen to some Thomas Sowell (not a comedian) and open your eyes
J T
J T Πριν 21 ημέρα
all of my american news ingestion comes from john oliver or stephen colbert. i have a slightly warped view of the news (but comedy is the only way i can handle it and stay sane, americans are nuts!!!) :D (i say that in fun, technically i'm half american)
grumpyotter
grumpyotter Πριν μήνα
Every time John tackles a topic, the solution is "remove the profit motive." EDIT: And I agree with him. The drive for profit over all else leads to horrific abuses.
Daniel
Daniel Πριν 7 ώρες
Argentina took the PROFIT motive, and the average light bill is literal $3 us dollars. Guess what, no one wants to live there, but hey they can keep the AC running all day long
Frédéric Boutin
Frédéric Boutin Πριν 5 ημέρες
The profit must be towards common good. Here in Quebec the Boomers have nationalized energy with Hydro-Quebec. That state owned society makes a hefty profit exporting energy to the USA, for instance. And when it's time to raise the prices to the customers, or should I say, the citizens or the electorate, then they must do it slowly over time otherwise the current gouvernment in power is getting a direct backlash in the polls. That works great, if you ask me. But eh! That can't be good living in a socialist country / province or state, right ?
Kieran Jaegar
Kieran Jaegar Πριν 6 ημέρες
Precisely why I surgically removed MY profit motive before making my moves. --🔑 '24
Frank Stein
Frank Stein Πριν 9 ημέρες
@grumpyotter thatcher was the worst of them all. You can write books about the consequences of her social and economic policy.
Austin M
Austin M Πριν μήνα
The sad part is this is basically every major industry now. We built an economic system that ONLY functions when competition is present and then they all consolidated into monopolies and duopolies, and the regulators, especially the FTC, were asleep at the wheel the whole time. Need electricity? Monopoly. Need internet service? Two choices tops and one is DSL, which is a joke in 2022. Need gasoline? A cabal that sets the price dictates that (OPEC) so it's functionally a monopoly too. What about food? Well there's 2 major chicken providers, 3 major pork providers, etc., and they all collude on the price, whether they'll ever admit it or not. Even vegetables, you basically grow whatever Monsanto gives you, or your crop gets wiped out by the pesticides your neighbor is putting on his Monsanto-engineered seeds. EDIT: And don't even get me started on the GOVERNMENT-BACKED FOURTEEN YEAR MONOPOLIES the drug companies get on every single product, most of the R&D for which is funded by OUR taxpayer money! It's the same story with different characters in every singe industry. Meanwhile the only two big monopolies the FTC has broken up in the last 50 years? Bell and Microsoft. Bell basically transformed from a monopoly to a duopoly with price fixing, so nothing changed there, and Microsoft has actually benefited from being broken up, as it forced the to do what companies are supposed to do when competition actually exists - innovate. And then you have republicans who say we have too much regulation? What regulation? The only state with any regulations is California, and they're all stupid, petty things like a 6-year approval process for solar power. If you want power, internet, gas or groceries, you're stuck with the same lack-of-choice in Cali as everywhere else. Hey guys, here's an idea: if you like the free market so much, why don't we actually try it, because a free market without competition ISN'T A FREE MARKET, you flaming idiots!
Milanesium
Milanesium Πριν 52 λεπτά
Microsoft was never broken up. It was discussed, but nothing ever happened. They only expanded in markets beyond operating systems, which they still dominate on the desktop computer.
Kieran Jaegar
Kieran Jaegar Πριν 6 ημέρες
You. YOU. You should come advise me at the White House when I'm done mopping the debate stage.
Bruce Bonner
Bruce Bonner Πριν 6 ημέρες
@ribbonsofnight 100000% wrong and what a terrible and illogical comparison.
ribbonsofnight
ribbonsofnight Πριν 7 ημέρες
Monopoly is the only way to have power going to everyone's homes. You can't have competition because competition would only happen in a small proportion of homes. I imagine you can have some competition in supplying power but creating the grid is a natural monopoly. I think natural monopolies are very hard to make work in private hands. They will betray their customers for their shareholders every single time.
J A
J A Πριν 8 ημέρες
@Cat I had heard a different number and my own observations had confirmed it with only anecdotal evidence. Evidently, a lot of businesses use non-Apple and only within the US is Apple the biggest market. Well spotted and thank you for updating me.
Daniel Goode
Daniel Goode Πριν μήνα
I took an elective for my engineering degree that was almost entirely spent covering Alabama Power and how to figure out their rates (It was at The University of Alabama). The professor said that if we could understand Alabama Power's unnecessarily complicated rate structures, we could figure the rates out for any other state/country with ease. It was a difficult class.
Daniel Goode
Daniel Goode Πριν 7 ημέρες
@jarrod nash So far, yes. I haven't had to calculate rates much though, fortunately
jarrod nash
jarrod nash Πριν 8 ημέρες
Was he right?
Jami
Jami Πριν μήνα
Here in Finland the utility companies are required to pay their customers compensation for every minute spent without power due to faults. Let's just say it has really motivated them. And of course there are regulation on what they are required to do to ensure safety. I haven't had an outage in 6 years.
Nick Charabaruk
Nick Charabaruk Πριν 2 ημέρες
@Jami I wish we could do this in Canada. The current federal government had election reform and proportional representation as part of their platform when running in 2016, then dropped it as soon as they got elected. First past the post is too good for incumbents to let go. The worst part is, all of the parties here use it for their leadership elections, so it is good for their leaders but not for general elections.
J Trent
J Trent Πριν 3 ημέρες
2 seconds later: Hey Google, How do I move to finland???? Like now????
Patti Zayas
Patti Zayas Πριν 6 ημέρες
that's awesome
Kieran Jaegar
Kieran Jaegar Πριν 6 ημέρες
Gonna be taking a few pages out of y'all's Finnish book for over here 😘 good job on that and curing homelessness.
nagi champa
nagi champa Πριν 7 ημέρες
How can I live in Finland...and also can it be closer to Japan when I arrive?
diddeldodo
diddeldodo Πριν μήνα
watching your show continously makes me wonder: how on earth are the US still alive and working? There are so many issues with your political system and big companies meddling with its people in office, it is a miracle you still are a global super power
Bloodlyshiva
Bloodlyshiva Πριν 2 ημέρες
Inertia.
E
E Πριν 4 ημέρες
It's simple actually. A military budget of $750Billion will get any country there.
Kieran Jaegar
Kieran Jaegar Πριν 4 ημέρες
@Mike Sanders it's amazing what a couple of well-placed lies can "accomplish," isn't it?
Kieran Jaegar
Kieran Jaegar Πριν 6 ημέρες
@Peter Degen We're #1 in incarceration! Which means that we're the MOST LEGAL OF ALL... right? 😮‍💨 I've either gotta save this place or destroy it. This cannot continue. And honestly, I'm pretty evenly torn.
MadMattDog
MadMattDog Πριν μήνα
the voice acting for Reddy Kilowatt was suprisingly good, usually any character trying to for the high pitch kid voice oversells the "hehe im childish" part but they struck a good balance between that and demonic entity without sounding forced, 5/7
Nathan Railsback
Nathan Railsback Πριν 15 ημέρες
@Nathan Davis' Videos That was my thought, too.
Spyke114
Spyke114 Πριν 17 ημέρες
ah, someone else who still uses 5/7 for perfect scores
David Carp
David Carp Πριν 22 ημέρες
sounded like Conky
Yudith Caron
Yudith Caron Πριν 22 ημέρες
The voice goes really well with the demonic appearance.
Nathan Davis' Videos
Nathan Davis' Videos Πριν μήνα
@Lime stone I WAS THINKING THE SAME THING!!! Even that laugh; I swear it was Monokuma! (Any _Dangarompa_ fans here?)
Bob Langill
Bob Langill Πριν μήνα
John Oliver overlooked one of the weirdest utility stories: Gov DeSantis vetoed a bill that Florida Power pushed through the legislature that would have drastically increased the cost for people who installed solar panels. Weird, DeSantis doing something that would actually benefit people.
FuNot FuMe
FuNot FuMe Πριν 11 ημέρες
@Red headed Sojourner The problem isn't personal greed. but rather that in order to get elected/re-elected you must have money for campaigns and the only way to have enough money to compete is to suck up to big donors
FuNot FuMe
FuNot FuMe Πριν 11 ημέρες
@Celebriel82 LOl they new his stance and so only offered half the usual bribe. he found that insulting and so to teach them a lesson vetoed their bill.
Kiyoko
Kiyoko Πριν 25 ημέρες
Hell froze over
Tina Yim
Tina Yim Πριν μήνα
John, don’t forget about PG&E’s earlier handiwork - the 2010 San Bruno Pipeline Explosion. I still remember seeing the smoke from the freeway after work. Funds which were supposed to be used for safety operations got diverted into bonuses and such. It is a truly vile company.
Kathryn McEachern
Kathryn McEachern Πριν 19 ημέρες
My brain broke when I read the headline that day, "33 dead, it's a miracle more weren't killed!" I didn't even have the money to buy a paper, so I was left with that headline with no idea what horrible thing had actually happened.
startide
startide Πριν 19 ημέρες
The company isn't vile, the people running it are. I think it's important that all those decisions are made by people, who chose to do those things for profit.
LeSethX
LeSethX Πριν 28 ημέρες
While I remember that explosion, my fav example of how bad PG&E is was a proposition in 2015 supported by PG&E to redefine renewable energy to EXCLUDE solar because San Francisco was starting up a new utility, and we had to have a competing proposition (H) to say that, yes, solar energy is renewable.
Zurround! 1000
Zurround! 1000 Πριν μήνα
This show is personal for me. I lost everything in a fire that PG and E was held liable for and luckily I have had help rebuilding my life due to a settlement fund from a class action lawsuit.
SkaDOOGle Doog
SkaDOOGle Doog Πριν 18 ημέρες
I'm very sorry to hear your situation. I feel the same way, I also lost everything in 2015 to the Butte Fire. Root cause was PG&E and what sparked the entire fire in the first place was a tree caught in one of their poles. It was supposed to be dealt with for years and was even on file saying it needed to be fixed. Sure we went through the same "remedies" and filed for a class action, but regardless the money won't ever fix the trauma. I've never been the same person since that day. No one should return home after school to watch everything you've ever known to be lost in an hours time because a giant corporation is unable to do their job.
Edriss Scofield
Edriss Scofield Πριν 20 ημέρες
@Gabe Shakour This comment shouldn't have almost 10x more likes than the funny comment it's responding to lol
vincent marsick
vincent marsick Πριν 21 ημέρα
@pixxburgh 420 terrible joke.. bad karma
Ryan fuller
Ryan fuller Πριν 28 ημέρες
@AbsentWithoutLeaving what you said. it can hurt to ask. ex: Ask a bald cancer patient "wheres the wig". see if there's no hurt feelings.
Patrick Bateman
Patrick Bateman Πριν μήνα
People need to band together and start their own public utility company in their cities or towns. My city has it's own public gas and electric company which just recently got done installing fiber optic cable so people could get high speed internet. Not only does it keep costs down, it provides a lot of well-paying jobs for the people in town.
startide
startide Πριν 10 ημέρες
@Kye Weedon that's the way it should be. At this point internet access is a basic utilityb like electricity or tap water. Maybe not life essential, but super important to be part of a modern society. Here a lot of administrative stuff can be done online for example. I'm sure it's the same abroad
Kye Weedon
Kye Weedon Πριν 10 ημέρες
Australia had a decent solution proposed for the National Broadband Network: infrastructure was built, owned, & maintained by federal government (read: taxpayers), who then offered access to retailers as wholesale. The retailers could then value-add & sell to customers. Means small retailers didn’t get locked out (high cost of infrastructure wasn’t their burden), & allows for competition while maintaining a minimum standard for the underlying core product. It got politicised & ruined of course, but I think the basic structure is a good idea.
startide
startide Πριν 19 ημέρες
French here : in my area the fiber is layed out by a company contracted by the county (or something equivalent I don't know the actual name in english). That technical operator only deals with laying out fiber, not providing internet access. That part is handled by ordinary ISPs : they hook up their infrastructure to the local fiber network, and can start selling their service. So you can change ISP on a whim if you so desire, they have no leverage over you. That worked perfectly till the big ISPs eventually came over... their contractors are paid for each intervention, so doing it dirty and fast it the way to go. People petitionned to the mayor and county and we eventually got the french regulator to step in and stop them from doing any more installations in our area. Hopefully we get those assholes on a tight leash.
rashkavar
rashkavar Πριν 22 ημέρες
Commenting on the show in general, it's fascinating to watch as a Canadian. There's so many issues this show tackles that are also big problems in Canada, and then there's stuff like this where the issues are completely different, and, at least in this case, dramatically less horrifying. In Canada, a number of systems are run by the government through something called a crown corporation - that is to say, it's a corporation that's owned by "the crown" (meaning the government). While most corporations have the built in assumption that their owners - the shareholders - desire profit above all else and strive toward that presumed demand, crown corporations know exactly who runs them, and their corporate boards are made up of people appointed by the government that handles what they do. (Generally that's the provincial government.) So they know exactly what their owner wants from them, and in most (all?) cases it legally is not and cannot be profit. Power generation and distribution is one of these here in BC, falling under BCHydro (yes, we have so much hydro power that it's the hydro company, not the electric company - even saying "the electric company" sounds weird to me) And while there are certainly problems, basic maintenance of their network is not among them. It's not uncommon to go more than a year without a blackout, and when they do happen it's almost always because someone was driving like an idiot and managed to knock down the local power distribution lines. They can usually manage a quick patch job (enough to get the lights back on) in less than an hour and have a new pole up by the end of the week. We get bigger issues when we have big storms, of course - sometimes we get a big pacific storm that knocks down a bunch of trees and gives them a hundred or more things like that to fix at once. But since it's happening during a very wet windstorm, there's no fire issue. The biggest issue we have to worry about is government shenanigans. ICBC - the automotive insurance crown corporation here in BC - had its financial reserves (which insurance companies save up in substantial quantities so they have money to pay out when some big storm comes in and causes several big pileup collisions, for instance) gutted by the previous ruling party, who was quietly directing it to general revenue (while not even telling the minister of transport, who is on the board for ICBC) so that they could say they were running on a balanced budget. (Running a balanced budget is a big political prize in Canada, particularly on the more conservative side of politics. It's difficult to manage, and requires a lot of trimming costs and such, but it's not so bad that it's not seen as possible.) So the Liberals (the more conservative of BC's 2 major political parties) ran ICBC's reserve into the ground, basically didn't campaign in an election, and then let the NDP walk into power and announce that ICBC rates had to go up because of the reserve needing to be rebuilt. I avoided using the term "corruption" because the funds that were diverted were being diverted into government revenue rather than into someone's pocket, but it's so very close that you'd honestly have to ask a lawyer if it counts. But this kind of thing is really rare, and unlike PG&E's unmaintained power lines, doesn't actually kill people. (Or if it did, the method of assessing that blame is a hell of a lot more complicated than "people died in a fire started by PG&E's failing infrastructure.")
Nick Charabaruk
Nick Charabaruk Πριν 2 ημέρες
@04beni04 Ontario Power Generation is a weird one, being run as a corporation but with the province as the sole shareholder so it is pretty arms length. The province selling most of its shares in Hydro One was a bit of a shitshow though.
Rhiannon Yeadon
Rhiannon Yeadon Πριν 10 ημέρες
Unfortunately Nova Scotia's power is owned by a private for profit company
rashkavar
rashkavar Πριν 19 ημέρες
@04beni04 Here in BC it's almost as much a 2 party system as it is in the US these days. We have the NDP and the Liberals (who have grown increasingly Conservative since the downfall of the Social Credit party...who also started out rather left of Conservative, because the *actual* Conservative party appears to have died in the Great Depression). We do have an up and coming Green party, but like at the federal level, they're a bit player with a handful of seats who only really matter when they get to decide which minority party gets to form government. At least we don't have the same party politics at the municipal level. Vancouver and a few other cities have municipal political parties, but they're not closely linked to any provincial or federal counterparts. Those of us in the smaller communities tend to just have concerned citizens/miscellaneous busybodies running campaigns mostly solo. Which makes for interesting electoral debates, sometimes.
04beni04
04beni04 Πριν 19 ημέρες
I'm in Ontario, and this sounds pretty familiar. I'd just like to add that when it comes to the parties, things are marginally better than in the US because at least it's not _technically_ a two-part system, but sometimes it feels like no matter who you vote for, you're voting against your own interests. Not a fan of corruption? Good luck finding a party with enough political heft to give their (apparent ) integrity teeth. Wish you could use your vote to support bodily autonomy as a right? Your choice might be between someone who is better at image than substance, and someone who doesn't recognize the inherent conflict involved in speaking at an anti-choice rally _while in office_ . I'm not going to pretend Sweden is a utopia -- there are lots of problems with Swedish culture that their excellent PR obscures quite efficiently -- but danged if I don't think they got a couple things right. Comparatively no opportunity for graft, government positions that are almost entirely service-oriented, and functioning proportional representation. Just imagine the possibilities!
1chi TheKilr
1chi TheKilr Πριν μήνα
I love that the audience clearly didn't know how to react to the ending, because I thought it was hilarious. Oh, and let's not forget that nearly every industry in society now runs like this. If your business is big enough, you can easily shrug off minor fines and fees, continue to unload ALL of your cash into the pockets of the people running the company, AND make sure to ignore any minor thing to the point of them breaking and causing major disasters. Because of the ways laws are written, and HAVE to be written, companies look for any and every minor way to skirt the law so they won't get in trouble for anything they do. It's exactly why things like power, water, internet, etc need to be publicly owned, because if we own it, then there's more of an incentive to ensure it runs smoothly, and doesn't break down constantly, rather than funneling all the money into the pockets of the wealthy who don't need it, or deserve it.
Solas
Solas Πριν μήνα
"You can't take a corporation, and put it into prison" Well I think its high time we went ahead and fixed that, eh?
Todd Howard
Todd Howard Πριν μήνα
Death penalty for companies that cause deaths through negligence.
Jame X
Jame X Πριν μήνα
Slowly I realize why John Oliver moved to the US - that country is so throughly fucked up that he has material for his show worth dozens of lifetimes
gnaarW
gnaarW Πριν μήνα
@Garviel Loken i would argue about poland in that list 😅🙈
David Smith
David Smith Πριν μήνα
Sadly, so many parallels in the uk …
Ms. Jackson
Ms. Jackson Πριν μήνα
@Matt D As an American, I concur. We’re utterly unaware of how the government of other countries operate, and we’re overly propagandized into believing our governance system is right and unparalleled. It’s truly sad.
jeremiah Thomas
jeremiah Thomas Πριν μήνα
So I'm lucky to live in a city that not only publicly owns our (90+% hydro powered) energy grid, but also water, sewers, and even a small freight railroad. The only thing that I find when searching for scandals are stories from our local police. The city legally requires that your first 100 KW of excess solar power be compensated, and has a fairly comprehensive rebate system for various energy and water efficiency upgrades. The entire purpose of a government within liberal capitalism is to organize natural monopolies that can't (or shouldn't) operate on a for-profit basis, the fact utilities aren't an expected part of that is completely insane to me.
Azzychan
Azzychan Πριν μήνα
Actually, our power company doesn't have a scandal. It had two issues that popped up. One was a lawsuit, but the plaintiffs dismissed the case themselves. The other was about a fired employee. Of course, out utility is owned by the county for the most part, so there is lots more oversight.
LooneyVille
LooneyVille Πριν μήνα
"PG&E is a fire company that occasionally delivers power" cracked me up :D
NessOnett8
NessOnett8 Πριν μήνα
The fact that one of these comes out every week, always tackling such a huge problem, and yet still have hundreds more topics that they don't have time to address... ...and yet people will continue to defend capitalism.
Todd Howard
Todd Howard Πριν μήνα
The would-be millionaires will always vote against their own self-interests
Robert Coffey
Robert Coffey Πριν μήνα
I've said it before, but it bears mentioning again: I'll believe that corporations are people, deserving of protections by our constitutional amendments, when Texas executes one.
Daniel Davies
Daniel Davies Πριν 12 ημέρες
@Rhizometric Reality the one instance in history where the "good old days"©®™ actually were better
Great McLuhan's Ghost
Great McLuhan's Ghost Πριν μήνα
@Gabriel Queiroz teddy Roosevelt had standard oil drawn and quartered but each segment grew into a bigger corporation than it was before. time to do it again. like a stock split but more valuable to humanity and the planet and creatures therein
Robert Coffey
Robert Coffey Πριν μήνα
@Juice1984 I'd say it depends on the inherent necessity of the business. If society requires it to function, them nationalize it and eliminate the board while seizing all company related assets to pay for the transition. If it isn't necessary, then you investigate the depth of the corruption, seize all assets to pay employee severance packages for those who weren't at fault, then shutter the whole damn thing. Blacklist the guilty parties and refuse to allow them to reincorporate another business after they get out of prison. The phrase "too big to fail" does have some merit. Sometimes the role a company plays not just in providing a product or service, but also in providing employment for a community makes it such that allowing that company to go under would devastate a great many people. Look at what happens to mining communities when the mine runs dry or Detroit once auto manufacturers began to pull out of the area. Those are some seriously fucked up situations that I wish the government had regulations for, since there are a lot of communities which are sustained, basically, by a singular company.
Ruby Foxall
Ruby Foxall Πριν μήνα
This gives a great sense of why utility companies in California (PG&E, SoCalEdison, and SDG&E) are so in favor of cutting net metering programs for rooftop solar, and the CPUC seems to go along with the utilities instead of the people.
roflchopter11
roflchopter11 Πριν μήνα
Net metering is absolutely a subsidy, especially as more and more people do it and more utility-scale production is from renewable. It's a system where the customer sells energy when they want (sunny and/or low demand) and buys it for the same price when they want it (dark and/or high demand). So at some level of adoption, the utility burns fuel to provide energy when it's scarce, then pays the customers retail price for energy while curtailing their own renewable production. Even if you don't think they should turn a profit, surely they can't be expected to just bleed money.
Rebecca
Rebecca Πριν μήνα
I googled the name of my utility company and “scandal” and I found quite a bit of scandals. Then I googled the name of my favorite high school teacher and “January 6” and thankfully, found nothing bad.
Kathryn Hedges
Kathryn Hedges Πριν 11 ημέρες
@EmpyreanLightASMR same here
EmpyreanLightASMR
EmpyreanLightASMR Πριν 11 ημέρες
I've refrained from googling past teachers because I don't want to see their obituaries :( A lot of them were older.
Connie Garvie
Connie Garvie Πριν 24 ημέρες
🤣🤣🤣
Le Bonk
Le Bonk Πριν 20 ημέρες
Perhaps the one Texas law I can get behind is basically an application of the death penalty for corporations. It's called "involuntary dissolution" and it absolutely needs to be applied at the national level.
MsYasami
MsYasami Πριν 22 ημέρες
I just love listening to everything, that is wrong with your country 🥲 it helps me not to panic to much about my country. Thanks for reminding me that it could be worse.
greenjelly01
greenjelly01 Πριν μήνα
"The shareholders are their customers, and your bill is their product" - What an AMAZING quote!! Applies to many companies beyond just utilities.
Wes Williams
Wes Williams Πριν 18 ημέρες
Something to think about the next time I'm putting gas in my car.
Chris Pirillo Is Eboola
Chris Pirillo Is Eboola Πριν 19 ημέρες
@Lawrence Iverson huh? Lmao nonsense comment
Lawrence Iverson
Lawrence Iverson Πριν 19 ημέρες
@Chris Pirillo Is EboolaOr the maker has a monopoly Duuuh!!!
Lawrence Iverson
Lawrence Iverson Πριν 19 ημέρες
@TBone4EvaThis pressure also comes from upper level executives as their bonuses (often far more than paychecks) are tied to share prices and/or their rate of increase
Holly Shackzalez
Holly Shackzalez Πριν μήνα
I have solar at my house but am also still connected to the local electric company. There are months where solar produces the amount of energy I use or even more than I use, but I still have to pay "delivery" fees to the electric company for them to deliver nothing. And if anyone is wondering, I did not pay for solar install. I'm paying the solar company for usage each month instead of having to pay for the panels up front.
Justice Royale
Justice Royale Πριν μήνα
You know you're a great comedian when you can get someone to laugh while presenting a relatively dark issue. I had to pause, to write this comment. You're good John Oliver.
Richard Connor
Richard Connor Πριν μήνα
Damn... I really lucked out. I friggen love my power company. My electricity is way cheaper than anywhere else in the region, and any power outages are solved within a couple hours.
Lucianna
Lucianna Πριν μήνα
Our utility company is community owned! And the only things I could find when searching for scandals related to them were about PG&E and how it's a damn good thing we don't have to deal with them where we live haha
Kathryn Hedges
Kathryn Hedges Πριν 11 ημέρες
Silicon Valley Power in Santa Clara?
robbingcars91
robbingcars91 Πριν μήνα
Nothings screams “I’m the villain” like “Oh this poor black rural church community is looking for a publicity stunt by having their own electricity because it’s more affordable than us, the big electric corporation that has no other competitor because we monopolised all of electricity in the entire state of North Carolina.”
물건
물건 Πριν 21 ημέρα
its delusion
Phil Giglio
Phil Giglio Πριν μήνα
@Elizabeth Bennet ...I am ANYTHING but right wing, actually pretty far left
Elizabeth Bennet
Elizabeth Bennet Πριν μήνα
@Phil Giglio "cerain people" PREDICTABLE RIGHTWING dogwhistle. can't you people just SAY STRAIGHT OUT what you mean- what racial group "Certain people" refers to? Tell us specifically, darling.
Phil Giglio
Phil Giglio Πριν μήνα
@Elizabeth Bennet ... never claimed to be. Just another form of what about ism from certain people, same concept
Elizabeth Bennet
Elizabeth Bennet Πριν μήνα
@mAnia alSo *hugs* to you, comrade! stay strong!
Joel Allen
Joel Allen Πριν 2 ημέρες
As an Australian, who views electricity widgets multiple times a day, this is a topic that is close to my heart. So like a week and a half ago, our market operator (60% govt owned, 40% private owned) literally suspended the market mechanism, and told generators to generate. (Australia is in an electricity crisis ATM). Over the past 3 days, price of electricity is .30$ a kWh, and has gone down to -.02$ (thanks renewables) and up to $9 (THANKS renewables!!! - that's Texas outage pricing). Look, my point is: governments can absolutely step in. #nationaliseenergy
Always B. Drivin
Always B. Drivin Πριν μήνα
I like how they blame the hook like Aha, this is the culprit responsible for all the damage and deaths. Not at all the company in charge of all equipment maintenance. A simple job could have been created and saved lives. Profit over people at its worst.
James Walton
James Walton Πριν μήνα
"Do you want your fucking lights to go on and off?" delivered in that cute/creepy voice is comedy gold. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Bo Peep
Bo Peep Πριν μήνα
Thanks for the birthday present John. You bring to light such important issues and mix it with comedy. Unique and needed
Pete M.
Pete M. Πριν μήνα
Florida just passed a law removing the requirement that utilities buy back excess electricity generated by rooftop solar panels. Since their attempts to outlaw solar panels failed, they "compromised" by dis-incentivizing them and crippling the solar industry. Now, unless you also invest on huge storage batteries, it will take forever for the panels to pay for themselves, if they ever do.
Johnathan Archibald
Johnathan Archibald Πριν μήνα
I'm glad I decided to connect to the local co-op instead of big corporation and was able to 20 years ago when I built my home. Any profit that is made goes back to the members yearly. Any problem is fixed beyond fast because the linemen get payed well by our coop with great benefits. They love their dangerous jobs working local in our area.
The Therapist Gamer
The Therapist Gamer Πριν μήνα
I'm sure there's a difficult balance between delivering complex information and delivering humor, but I think sometimes certain jokes derail the video from the larger issue. For example, when the energy executive answered a question about human suffering with "that's just the way it's been," the next part could have been "Historically that's not a great argument. Slavery? That's just the way it's been. Hitting babies right after they're born? That's just the way it's been." Instead you give an example of when it IS a good argument, and then we have a video of sausages racing around a track. While this is funny, it derails the conversation into something completely off topic and focus is lost on the larger issue. Again, I think it's a difficult balance, but it may help to at least give examples consistent with your point rather than the opposite of your point.
Stryfe's Point
Stryfe's Point Πριν μήνα
With each passing day, each industry in the US has its own version of OCP or whatever company fits as long as they have their paid acolytes in DC, it's going to be a one helluva ride into the foreseeable future mind you, nine seasons of last week tonight and there's still untapped resources full of unbelievable misery, pain and depression to discover and prove that.
Tia Turnbull Champions Coaching Turnbull
"The shareholders are the customers and your bills are the product." Wow, contemplate that for a minute. Values twisted?
Tito Tim Travels
Tito Tim Travels Πριν μήνα
When the teacher was handing out the paper book covers in school, we would fight over the Reddy Kilowatt covers. I do not think anyone was scared of our favorite mascot. 😎 As far as monopolies go... ALL utilities need to be government owned and operated.
Tracy Craft
Tracy Craft Πριν μήνα
Interesting. I kept skipping over this video since I am not interested in utilities. Yet, I know that you have a way of sharing new information that fascinates me. You did that here.
letterman6546
letterman6546 Πριν μήνα
"...its a monopoly" And here I am sitting wondering where all those "A free market will correct itself" folks went.
Douglas Cordeiro
Douglas Cordeiro Πριν 29 ημέρες
@letterman6546 Again a mixed market is not the same as a free market!!!
letterman6546
letterman6546 Πριν μήνα
@Douglas Cordeiro Where a mixed market is infinitely better for the people than a pure free market and a pure planned market.
Douglas Cordeiro
Douglas Cordeiro Πριν μήνα
And where a State-controlled monopoly is a "Free market"?
Chain Reactions Film Productions
Twinkle Cavanaugh, Chip Beaker, and Larry Householder sound like names you’d expect to find on a fake ID a teenager made to get into cheap bars
Carlos Enrique Altuve Rangel
Carlos Enrique Altuve Rangel Πριν 12 ημέρες
Do not undersell teenagers so much, they can be quite creative by comparison xD
randomperson8571
randomperson8571 Πριν μήνα
They also sound like male stripper names, but at like... a very trashy male strip club where the dudes look like stereotypical tow truck drivers.
Dinosaursrecycle
Dinosaursrecycle Πριν μήνα
@Ti C I have no idea what that means.
Laura S.
Laura S. Πριν μήνα
PG&E is my utility, they are as bad as this show said they are. Back in the days when I was a search and rescue volunteer, I searched a neighborhood in San Bruno after a P&E gas pipeline exploded and killed 8 people because of poor maintenance on the part of PG&E.
John Richardson
John Richardson Πριν 17 ημέρες
I love that almost all of John’s solutions come down to fixing incentive structures
Teresa White
Teresa White Πριν μήνα
OMG! I watched the Mr. Toot show as a child. It was recorded in Duluth, MN. I even have a Mr. Toot bank. Thanks for bringing back a fond memory of my childhood while scaring the hell out of me about my local public utility company.
Indigo Expatriate
Indigo Expatriate Πριν μήνα
The Wall Street Journal's energy guy Russell Gold is SHARP!! Finally rounded up a copy of his book "Superpower: One Man’s Quest to Transform American Energy,"...and he tells things as an investigator, fact-based and realistic. Looking forward to hearing more from him in the future
BladeBloodreaver
BladeBloodreaver Πριν μήνα
Here in the Netherlands, the infrastructure and "selling of electricity" are seperated. While the infrastructure company is something you have no influence over, the company that actually supplies the electricity you do have options in. Plenty even. This creates competition between the energy suppliers and is good for us consumers.
Chris Pirillo is Eboola
Chris Pirillo is Eboola Πριν 14 ημέρες
@andybaldman Lol acting you're just a great person by pandering this much. That's a just embarrassing. Not surprising coming from such a compassionate and caring liberal lmao. (and you are reacting this way as you did initially). America is a place to make easy money because of the system working. This is why the GDP per capita is way higher here than EU countries. Cope with that tho. People that think like you are why millions are poor. Hard to admit huh? But you can stay happy with your mindset of controlling what people consume and what companies are allowed to profit from ig. Those problem literally do exist in other countries, you are just obsessed with looking at the faults of the US and living in an echo chamber to make yourself feel better about your position.
jean witherspoon
jean witherspoon Πριν μήνα
John Oliver your ending made my mouth drop. Then I googled and found out you’re still alive. That was a good one 😂
Thurayya
Thurayya Πριν μήνα
That was one of the creepiest episodes, ever, Mr. Oliver. I was a school age child in the sixties in California, who was subjected to RediKilowatt every year in elementary school with a comic book about electricity (wish I still had one), which was combined with . . . wait for it . . . kite flying. It seemed perfectly legit back then; but, now, I wonder what the hell they were thinking.
Yudith Caron
Yudith Caron Πριν 22 ημέρες
That makes sense; Benjamin Franklin discovered that electricity travelled through a kite with a key attached to it. That's how he discovered the lightning rod, and that flying a kite during a storm is very dangerous.
gailan572
gailan572 Πριν 19 ημέρες
Woke up this morning to the second power outage of the weekend. PG&E definitely has a unique way of celebrating the start of summer.
Eric
Eric Πριν μήνα
Where I live, utilities are putting up lots solar and wind infrastructure. It seems like a lot of these scandals are in places where scandals are common in every facet of society. It seems like there needs to be more thought out into how business is run in those areas
Miles
Miles Πριν μήνα
I never regret watching Last Week Tonight but it’s also so depressing sometimes.
the Dude
the Dude Πριν μήνα
@Orunen F lol, we pay over 2% gdp here (as the nato contracts ask for) - some countries dont get to 2% but blame the induviduals.
fiona fiona
fiona fiona Πριν μήνα
@J iteration may come up with improvement
fiona fiona
fiona fiona Πριν μήνα
Same
Stephen Andersen
Stephen Andersen Πριν μήνα
Well this is highly variable depending which state you’re in. In some, the UPC is a consumer advocate while in others it’s an advocate for the utility. Southern states tend to be the worst. Many states have requirements that must be included in the tariff deign for energy saving measures e.g. a utility will offer lower cost appliances to reduce your bill. Remember they can’t earn a return on an asset until it is used and useful, I.e in service and these things can take years of study and design even before the first shovel hits the ground. Meanwhile, the FERC has strict regulations on when an asset can be included in the rate base. This can be challenging for something like a nuclear plant that could take 20 years of predesign and permitting studies before the project is approved. All not all evil…. Not all of us ;-)
SallyBeretta
SallyBeretta Πριν μήνα
“PG&E, one of California’s largest utilities” is like “one of Saint Louis’ largest arches”
Sciz Graffiti
Sciz Graffiti Πριν 8 ημέρες
In Ontario, Canada, our utilities are much more closely linked to the government, which ends up solving quite a few of the problems that these 'natural monopolies' tend to have. It's not a perfect system either obviously because it does reply on the government to oversee utilities properly which historically has not always happened, but it at least does give the public (ie everyone who uses utilities and has no really choice) more recourse than just being able to write a yelp review. If the government does a poor job with this, they tend to lose the next election pretty badly, so the incentive for them to at least try and do it properly is quite strong. Like I said, it's not perfect, but a lot of the problems in this piece are likely the reason that Ontario and many of the other provinces have this system instead of the systems that a lot of the individual states have.
MacGyver van Schwartzenstallone
Mascot: "Just go ahead and pull that lever" John: "This one here?" Mascot: "Uh-huh" John: "There aren't any lights" "Mascot: "Just keep pulling, John...a little bit more...almost...there..." John: "I think I went from being metaphorically fucked to properly fucked"
KootFloris
KootFloris Πριν μήνα
"It seems they treat their shareholders as customers and use the bills they send to the actual clients as the product." US capitalism personified in where it goes wrong.
KootFloris
KootFloris Πριν μήνα
@The Zahir Yes, right on. Painfully true.
The Zahir
The Zahir Πριν μήνα
@R Lud maybe read the whole comment. There’s more than the one sentence you quoted and it’s pretty clearly explained after that.
Niels Korpel
Niels Korpel Πριν μήνα
@Ac Bower I am aware that capitalism is supposed to breed innovation. I was not referring to that. I said we should be allowed to innovate on capitalism itself. That is, we should be able to critique capitalism, and be able build an improved economic system to replace it if we so desire. Yet the short comment: 'its better than the alternative' shuts that down by demanding us to accept the current stuff, or else fear that other thing. I don't like it.
Luís Andrade
Luís Andrade Πριν μήνα
@J P 1 don’t just talk and random people as if that’s an argument 2 capitalism is exactly the opposite of feudalism since feudalism is a form of socialism 3 capitalism is simply what happens when people are allowed to freely interact with each other it is based upon the right principle of freedom and human self determination 4 It is precisely because our resources aren’t infinite that we need markets to allocate those resources capitalism is just that
BizzareMermaiD
BizzareMermaiD Πριν μήνα
I appreciate him informing me and exposing capitalism with comic relief jokes aside im quite concerned about sexy cheetahs taking over 🐆 something needs to be done
thunder bucket
thunder bucket Πριν 24 ημέρες
Fun fact, the man that said "that's just the way it's been" as a reason to keep doing what they're doing is a fallacy, a fallacy is an argument that is neither reasonable nor sound. It doesn't necessarily mean his argument is wrong, it could be, but the reason for doing is. The fallacy he used is called the "is ought fallacy" an "is" is not an "ought" just because that "is" the way it's always been does not mean it's "ought" the way it should be. Hope y'all liked this fun fact.
Kyle Marcy
Kyle Marcy Πριν 23 ώρες
The solution to this and many other problems is very simple and clear, and has been a part of America since the start. It is taxation, with representation. You just... tax the corporations. You tax them a lot. Then you offer them cuts on those taxes if they abide by rules that benefit your citizenry; like not dumping chemicals into rivers. We've always done this. It works. The excuse that globalization creates a market that invalidates national taxation because companies can just move out of the country to find lower taxes is a bunch of smoke and mirrors. We see the true cost of that choice in the supply chain crisis that is literally causing a famine. Late stage capitalism is sucking the world dry and all the people that get rich from this hustle are just going to die and rot anyway. It's for nothing.
abhijith kumar
abhijith kumar Πριν μήνα
I've never been more thankful to our publicly owned electricity supply here in India!
MrT4of5
MrT4of5 Πριν μήνα
In my Washington State county, we got fed up with our “for profit private utility company” and voted to form a Public Utility District, which removed them completely as they had no choice. Now our infrastructure is upgraded, our power stable with fewer outages, our costs stabilized, and now they are installing fiber network and will be the ISP to compete with the other monopoly.
Bruce Bonner
Bruce Bonner Πριν μήνα
Also live in Washington state. Family has been farming her for 90 years. And there is no county with its own Public Utility. Hell it's funny how each and every city in Washington state is Public Utility, but in reality its for profite and privately owned. Washington states infrastructure is just as bad as anywhere else in the nation.
Gil Hamilton
Gil Hamilton Πριν μήνα
@Adam Hudson At least the government answers to you and me. By your logic must really mistrust the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.Since they are run by the government. Not to mention maintain our nuclear weapons. Maybe we should privatize police and fire too. Utilities are crucial to our nation's security they should not be in the hands of a corporation. They answer to shareholders, not citizens.
MeecroSkills
MeecroSkills Πριν μήνα
@Phil Giglio Electric utility and telecom are not the same though. Telecom isnt considered a utility so under less regulation. Think Ajit Pai and netflix getting throttled.
ctdieselnut
ctdieselnut Πριν 25 ημέρες
12:17 - A power plant estimated to cost 1.8b ends up costing 7.5b? That's a 416% cost overrun. Imagine that happening anywhere else in life. Holy crap. Prime example of a lack of due diligence, and it was intentional to get it approved(by town/state, or even their own executives/financiers) and get the project started. That just reeks of corruption to me. The customers will ultimately end up paying for it, because they always do. A few years ago a new middle school was built in my town. Projected cost, 24m, actual cost, 45m. Everyone in town thought that was ridiculous, 100+ mil(as in keeping pace with the power plant example) would of given people heart attacks. Whether it's thru taxes or monopolistic utility bills, the masses pay for it all.
Ali Burak ÖZKAYA
Ali Burak ÖZKAYA Πριν μήνα
I love how iPhone (where to buy it from) is given as an example to freedom of commercial choice.
Gehzandersmeckz
Gehzandersmeckz Πριν 28 ημέρες
I litteraly had to switch over to the feeding geese when you brought that up. A sensational piece. Love your work John, and every one working on making this show
Clyde3
Clyde3 Πριν 25 ημέρες
Hi I would like to invite you on the podcast as a guest. We can talk about anything and everything..
Scott Michaels
Scott Michaels Πριν μήνα
Living in Oakland, I unfortunately knew PGE would be featured. Another example of how corporations have been allowed to take over our govt.
SolarProTommy
SolarProTommy Πριν μήνα
This is the reason I chose to make a career in solar energy 5 years ago. Every home I put solar on takes a lifelong customer away from them, and it's a beautiful thing. Utilities should never have been allowed to be publicly traded companies.
SolarProTommy
SolarProTommy Πριν 25 ημέρες
@Brett McNamara Please do!
Brett McNamara
Brett McNamara Πριν μήνα
@SolarProTommy fantastic! I'll pass your comment along! They love hearing that!
SolarProTommy
SolarProTommy Πριν μήνα
@Tyson Reuter Thanks! I live in California, so even without any subsidies or credits...it still makes financial sense almost every time. Other areas/states generally pay far less for energy though, so who knows...but one thing is for certain, we need more solar, less dirty energy.
SolarProTommy
SolarProTommy Πριν μήνα
@Lindsey P If the home is fed by the utility , you are never truly off grid with solar or battery. The energy produced gets consumed by the home and any excess production is sent to the grid as credit. If you are consuming more than the panels are producing (summertime with A/C cranking is an example), you'll be buying the rest of your energy need from the utilities at that time. It's called Net Energy Metering and you basically nailed it! =)
SolarProTommy
SolarProTommy Πριν μήνα
@Brett McNamara I do not know any of them personally, however I am well familiar with Titan and they do fantastic work.
Jay Vander
Jay Vander Πριν 21 ημέρα
Any corporation that is allowed to make extra profit by getting paid to do specific things will always put priority on those specific things and will do whatever they can to maximize the money from them so as a result no government subsidization can ever be offered to any corporation.
Jason K
Jason K Πριν μήνα
It's nice John's back to addressing real issues, it'll be better when he covers hammer and scorecard.
daniel job
daniel job Πριν 11 ημέρες
All this time I thought the US was handling solar energy the same way we do. Turns out they are handling it the way we have been handling the final solution to the tobacco question! Work will give you freedom!
BiGG X
BiGG X Πριν μήνα
20:15 Its a strange question but he instantly shrugged it off as soon as he heard PG&E. He knew exactly what kind of question it was going to be. Then he turns into Clint Eastwood 🤣
frnknstndrgqn
frnknstndrgqn Πριν μήνα
"Charging people insane prices for things they need to live" isn't that the Healthcare industry's job?
Lionessbynature 800
Lionessbynature 800 Πριν μήνα
This is done by any fore profit corporation in America. Capitalist are greedy in all industries. Be it Healthcare, utilities, housing, business of finance, banking, the entertainment industry, car dealerships and manufacturing, imports, trades, criminal justice, food & agriculture, franchises, education etc the list goes on and on. Churches and charities are excluded because they're non profit organizations or foundations but they come with their own set of schemes.
G E
G E Πριν μήνα
Nice.
James Casas
James Casas Πριν μήνα
You're thinking of ConAgra and Monsanto. No wait, you're thinking of Nestle. No wait, you're thinking of real estate leasing companies.
kgw72
kgw72 Πριν μήνα
You know, coming from Europe, where, in most cases, our power grids were built by the State because they were the only ones with money, this situation is quite strange... Nowadays I can choose between a lot of companies and probably it's the same all around Europe…
ProudTrans🏳️‍🌈
ProudTrans🏳️‍🌈 Πριν 4 ημέρες
Fun Fact: In Canada utilities are run by a provincial agency that is heavily overseen by the government. Hydro One (the utility company for Ontario) got into huge trouble for raising people's bills suddenly and it resulted in an investigation.
Shannara St
Shannara St Πριν μήνα
..I just love how PG&E just up and changed things in my account WITHOUT even asking if it was ok before hand!..also how much they charge for gas which if u don't know mostly every home in CA uses gas to do something..such as heat the home, water, cook and if u want ur clothes dry...which I think everyone loves that but yes it all runs on gas!...where the gas comes from I'm not sure if anyone really wants to know but my money's on..seeing as I'm paying it anyway is PG&E's CEO and other upper management >_
Daemon Officer
Daemon Officer Πριν μήνα
I think of situations like this whenever I hear "Capitalism inspires innovation."
Shawn Jorgensen
Shawn Jorgensen Πριν μήνα
Whoever came up with the “aspiring comedian” epitaph deserves a raise, genius.
Kristy Hwang
Kristy Hwang Πριν μήνα
Jon Stewart and Bill maher
Alva the Wayfarer
Alva the Wayfarer Πριν μήνα
I'm a cockroach so yer ass will deal with me forever.
Alva the Wayfarer
Alva the Wayfarer Πριν μήνα
The biggest comedian is nature. I guess we are getting a flea bath now.
Remrie Arrie
Remrie Arrie Πριν μήνα
My favorite is when I contacted my power company and asked them if I get to bill them a "distribution charge" (to offset my infrastructure costs) when they buy energy from me, they said no. I won't want them selling my energy for any profit to anyone. I'd rather wire my grid up to my neighbor. BTW. the power distribution charge is always at least half of my total bill. So if I consume $150 of electricity, they charge me $150+ as a distribution fee. My company is Illuminating Company out of Cleveland. A First Energy (General Electric) provider.
Lauren Ricard
Lauren Ricard Πριν μήνα
In France when people have solar panels, they can sell the surplus to the major (former national) electric company that pays them at a fix rate and we also get a grant from the state to make the panels more affordable...
Gastón Melchiori
Gastón Melchiori Πριν μήνα
12:50 that problem also happens in Argentina, the national state "gives people a work" so they can lower a little bit the 40% unemployed Rate. The way they do it is by starting to build a proyect, like a hospital (we have "free" hospitals here) or a park, or Whatever and just never finish it, so they can maintain the people "working" there for longer. They also innaugurate the building when is 25% or 50% done, just to say to the public -i know this proyect has been in construction for over a decade and i admire your patience, we hope you accompany us for another 10 years, and don't forget, if you vote for anything else they are going to take away your jobs and demolish everything we have build-
Trina EppsTrinaE
Trina EppsTrinaE Πριν μήνα
😂🤣😂🤣I laugh so much watching John Oliver… also I learned a great deal from watching this show.
Andrew West
Andrew West Πριν μήνα
That's a nice touch at the end when discussing PG&E employees. Often times the grunts and low level employees are amazing people - its the corporate heads that are horrifying.
David T
David T Πριν 11 ημέρες
@035teej No, engineers and scientists are different, but you need both to accomplish something real.
035teej
035teej Πριν 11 ημέρες
It is all about money, engineers are scientist, they test everything just the same.
jwjwjw123456
jwjwjw123456 Πριν μήνα
Work for PG&E as an engineer, and came in way after Enron, 1st bankruptcy, and San Bruno incident. I agree. Our shareholders and CEOs screw us over. We definitely need to modernize and bury our distribution and transmission lines as well, but the financial incentive is not affordable due to the shareholders and CEO bonuses. We are trying as hard as possible, but the money wasn't there until the consequences of the Camp Fire, and it still feels like it isn't enough as this should have been done a decade prior. Having global working and the hottest summers on record for multiple years straight is not the sole, but another contributing factor of wildfire incidents increasing next to our aging equipment. All in all, our system is broken because as an IOU, Investor Owned Utility, it feels more like we are beholden to investors than to the public serviced by our T&D lines or gas. Personally, I blame deregulation as one of the major reasons why PG&E began sucking in the 1990s more than before. I still cannot believe how we are not owned by the state as public utility, but we are probably at a point where we are monstrously too large to controlled unless we are broken up, and cannot be allowed to not fail as people need power and gas. There are people in the company, not part of the corporation/business side, that want to do their part in making sure people receive power and gas at affordable rates and safely, but the consequences of lack of maintenance of almost century old facilities and lines is catching up, and no one in CA will be spared if these problems are not resolved in the next few years. Time is running out, and the free market will not save us as it is the reason we are stuck in this system. If we stay a IOU and incentivize the more profitable options rather than what is best for the public, the investments allow us to perform the bare minimum capital replacement work and repairs required to keep the system barely running, but this could lead to more incidents in the future, requiring more repairs or replacement projects that means increasing energy rates we charge to our customers. Become a true public utility owned by the state, and though we may get more orders to modernize the grid and do the right thing for public well being, the costs to do that work will now need to be funded by our taxpayers and since we are so behind we may need to increase taxes or utilize surplus from state coffers to perform the proper work necessary. Ever night i don't sleep very well over the hate we get. We deserve it, but the anger and violence is directed at lowly PG&E workers in the field, farthest away from the ivory towers of the business CEOs and corporate shareholders willing to screw you or I for an additional buck.
Dedier
Dedier Πριν μήνα
@Chez: It wasn't a comparison, it was an agreement with an add on. Corporate CEO's are horrid and so are the shareholders.
David T
David T Πριν μήνα
I have a Comcrap employee who lives in my complex. I've told him the same thing about their utility. The field people are always great, as they actually work with impacted customers. Phone people are hit and miss. The rest are terrible.
Daethalion
Daethalion Πριν μήνα
That one clip of Gavin Newsom dodging a question about how anyone can trust his assurances that PG&E will be held liable for its actions (which again, includes dozens of human lives lost) when he also takes campaign donations from them, is by itself more than enough to swing my opinion of this man as governor of California. He needs to disappear and be replaced with someone who will take real action to stop these kinds of abuses from continuing.
Janet S
Janet S Πριν 21 ημέρα
Funny seeing this today, when a power line in my back yard tried to kill me. I was standing under the wire only 20 minutes before it fell to the ground igniting a com cable on its way down. LIVE electrical wire -- on the ground.
Benjamin Filbert
Benjamin Filbert Πριν 10 ημέρες
Here is the first, last and I ly argument against major power companies: literally every other aspect of life has shown that having many smaller systems is more efficient than one large system. The most complex example would be having a diverse stock portfolio. The simplest would be stepping on a nail vs laying down on a bed of them.
Pamela Astarte
Pamela Astarte Πριν μήνα
This is why I am not in agreement with everything going electric: heating, cars, cooking, cooling, communications, etc.. This monopoly is not only a dirty utility, in no way green, and we will soon have no choice but to support them as electric will be our only choice.
No More
No More Πριν μήνα
Here's a fun fact: Eversource, the electric company for western Massachusetts, has an agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities which guarantees Eversource a fixed revenue amount every year. If their revenue doesn't reach that amount, they just add the difference as a line item on customer's statements the following year (and, to be fair, if they exceed that revenue, they refund it as a line item on customer's statements the following year). Think about that for a minute -- they're guaranteed a certain revenue regardless of the number of customers, regardless of the amount of electricity distributed, and regardless of performance. In fact, the company's marketing is constantly harassing customers to reduce their electric usage, which makes perfect sense because that would increase the company's profit. Here's another fun fact -- Columbia Gas (the natural gas company in Massachusetts) literally blew up some businesses and several houses by overpressurizing the gas lines because (according to them) they failed to move a sensor from the old line to the new line when they installed a new main line. I've been told that Columbia Gas is no longer allowed to conduct business in the state, so what happened to them? Nothing, of course. They apparently merged with Eversource (the two were both owned by the same parent company), so the statements now say "Eversource" instead of "Columbia Gas", but everything else is business as usual. Image if it worked like that for individuals. Imagine that someone gets a restraining order against "John Smith", so John Smith simply changes his name to John Doe and the government says "No, he doesn't have to stay away from you; you have a restraining order against John Smith, not John Doe".
No More
No More Πριν μήνα
​@Jayson Atkins "You said you can buy up assets, but you can't buy up debts. LoL, companies have been buying up consumer debts owed to other companies for years" - First, you misinterpreted what I wrote. When I said "you can buy only a company's assets, not its liabilities (debts)", I meant that you can choose to buy the assets only and leave the liabilities (debts) with the old company. In other words, you can choose to buy only the "good" parts of a company and leave the "bad" parts rather than being forced to buy the company as a whole (assets plus liabilities). Second, consumer debts owed to a company are assets for that company, not liabilities. It is not a matter of perspective; it's a matter of accounting. Things which increase a company's value (now or in the future) are assets; things owed by a company to others (debts) are liabilities. For example, if a company has a mortgage on a building, then that mortgage is a liability (because it is money the company owes to someone else), but if the company buys mortgage loans/debts from a bank, then those loans are assets (because they are loans which will be paid to the company, increasing the company's value).
Jayson Atkins
Jayson Atkins Πριν μήνα
@No More You said you can buy up assets, but you can't buy up debts. LoL, companies have been buying up consumer debts owed to other companies for years, as small as $20, and then adding an astronlmical collection fee to it that makes a measly, forgotten debt impossible to pay. That's an exaggeration, of course. I owed Verizon $245 at some point, a debt I had forgotten about. I had moved and lost contact. They sold that "asset" to a collection agency that will accept no less than $2500 to settle it. I suppose it is just a matter of perspective on what is considered a "debt" and an "asset"? This is criminal, this sort of demand of over 1000% interest to settle their "asset".
No More
No More Πριν μήνα
@c182SkylaneRG "That sounds ripe for exploitation, so there has to be more to it than that" - It definitely is ripe for exploitation and it is exploited. Sadly, no, there's no more to it. Companies are legally allowed to purchase only the assets of another company and leave the liabilities, ensuring that all those who are owed debts get nothing. It's basically court-endorsed theft. If you want to hear another thing that sounds like there should be more to it, but I'm fairly certain there isn't -- if a company files for bankruptcy protection and a court assigns a bankruptcy administrator to take over the operations of the company, then that administrator can force suppliers (such as utilities and product suppliers) to continue supplying products to the bankrupt company, even if the bankrupt company is unable to pay for the product. It's basically court-ordered theft.
c182SkylaneRG
c182SkylaneRG Πριν μήνα
@No More That sounds ripe for exploitation, so there has to be more to it than that. Say I have an equally unscrupulous brother, and we each form LLC's independent of each other (seemingly). One can rack up a massive pile of debt, get bought out by the other, and have all the debt wiped clean for a dollar, if we wanted...
Jonathan Matthews
Jonathan Matthews Πριν 12 ημέρες
Good series finale. I’m not sure they can or should continue without John. Hope his family is taken care of.
Brochnick
Brochnick Πριν μήνα
John Oliver: "Take South Carolina..." My brain: Yes, someone, please take South Carolina... to the movies, a water park, to Picher Oklahoma, I don't care; just take them somewhere.
Todd Howard
Todd Howard Πριν μήνα
Why here to Oklahoma? Why add shit to more shit?
Gev
Gev Πριν μήνα
I always make sarcastic jokes about how the kWh rate keeps going up because of things like LED lights and other energy efficient devices that are reducing the amount of kWh the average home uses and since less kWh equals less money for the companies they're going to raise rates to make up for their losses. Now I'm not so sure how much of that is actually a joke.
Andre`a guy
Andre`a guy Πριν μήνα
I remember a while ago getting a bunch of ads for PG&E in my fb feed. They had a bunch of stuff about preventing fires. It was wonderfully victim blamey. Just like oh yeah our power lines are going to keep falling down but if you clear the brush around your house maybe it won't burn down. I think I just commented something along the lines of, "Everyone hates you. You burned down half the state and you are never going to live that down. Stop bothering us and fix your equipment"
HKosiris
HKosiris Πριν μήνα
I am so glad they did a piece on this, I was a victim of the Camp Fire and after loosing almost everything I own and having to flee for my life; not only do I still have to pay the fuckfaces at PG&E money, but they actually increased people's bills to pay for the lawsuits.
Chris Pirillo Is Eboola
Chris Pirillo Is Eboola Πριν μήνα
lol Utilities For All! xd
Phil Giglio
Phil Giglio Πριν μήνα
Can't have the dear shareholders get a reduced dividend check
Randi Bagley-Goodwin
Randi Bagley-Goodwin Πριν μήνα
And they would just say "that's a business expense, of course the customers have to pay for that" if asked.
SayWhat?
SayWhat? Πριν μήνα
Yep, lawsuits mean NOTHING because they only punish the innocent with higher prices and not the guilty.
INDFNT
INDFNT Πριν μήνα
I like how people are beginning to realize how competition is very much a myth in American capitalism.
Mitch Clark
Mitch Clark Πριν μήνα
Yep. It may have been real at first but the thing about competition is... after a while, somebody wins. After corporations win, after power is consolidated, after a handful of industries corner a market, there's no competition anymore and that's when we start to devolve into a kind of feudalism (which is what we're doing now).
Philippa K
Philippa K Πριν 6 ημέρες
I'm flashing back to childhood when our power company (Nz, not US) suddenly trippled the bill out of nowhere. Their excuse was that they hadn't been reading our meter correctly for some time. Mum refused to pay the extra and we switched ASAP
Sideshow Bob
Sideshow Bob Πριν μήνα
~21:00 - In my area, northeast USA, the power utilities are split into 2 separate but associated entities - a semi public non-profit side which deals with Distribution (power lines, services to homes & businesses, managing the grid, etc), & a private, answerable to shareholders, side that deals with Generation (power plants, buying power from out of state providers, etc). This arrangement has probably prevented a lot of the "Sh*tshow" problems such as experienced in Calif & Texas. But, of course, this arrangement has been under constant threat of challenge by Republicans whenever they are in power in the various states (there is a "New England Compact" of states who formulate policy for the entire region), in the name of "Privatization", "Efficiency", "Reducing the Burden of Gov't Regulation". Same old, same old . . .
E K
E K Πριν μήνα
My mom owned a house in Albuquerque, NM when she passed away. I had her utilities turned off a couple months after, and her house, due to unforseen circumstances, had to sit empty for 2 years. After the 2 yrs both the electric and gas (state regulated) bills were nominal, and stopped charging after the shut off date. The water bill was $1400, had been turned off at the street, was being charged a monthly late fee, plus an additional monthly fee, and they had put a lien on the mortgage. When I went to the Water Authority (not regulated) to discuss payment arrangements, I was taken aside by an employee, and told that they are akin to the mafia, and she educated me on what not to say, tone of voice, and voice level. To add insult to injury, since clean drinking water isn't a necessity (especially in the desert), there isn't any type of assistance programs for water bills or water shut off. My neighbor was kind enough to let me fill buckets and tubs with her hose while I stayed in the house to protect the property from Wells Fargo(synonymous with vandals and thieves, in this case), vandals, squatters, and thieves, during the time it took to find a buyer and complete a short sale.
Adrian Sandlin
Adrian Sandlin Πριν μήνα
Isn't it funny how when it comes to lobbying and political contributions, corporations are people. But the moment they face backlash it becomes "you can't punish a corporation because we're not individuals". Which is it gonna be? They should never have it both ways whenever it suits them.
James H
James H Πριν μήνα
@Vegas242 I think the saying you're looking for is "privatize the gains, socialize the losses"
andrew zamparelli
andrew zamparelli Πριν μήνα
@Matthew Knight My
Jasim Malik
Jasim Malik Πριν μήνα
@Matthew Knight And Humans are Resources.
Kyle Stoner
Kyle Stoner Πριν μήνα
@Matthew Knight And astoundingly Romney is one of the most reasonable Republicans that exist in governance today. What a shit show.
Dwayne Hendricks
Dwayne Hendricks Πριν μήνα
Or if you and I fall behind, they take everything. If a corporation falls behind, it's a tax write-off???
Falbert Forester
Falbert Forester Πριν μήνα
The state of Maine has three large electric utilities, supplying most of the state, but there are a handful of small local utility companies. The production facilities and the distribution utilities are supposed to be separated, but this is problematic, as well.
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