It is Labor Day and I wish all workers the best since US employment is returning despite the government lockdown of numerous states due to Covid.
But California got a double whammy: Covid plus raging wildfires … again. Are you ready?
(Bloomberg) — PG&E Corp. warned it may cut off power to 103,000 of its customers in California on Monday evening as strong, dry winds threaten the disaster-weary state.
PG&E said Sunday that it would shut down power lines in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Sierra Nevada foothills to keep them from tangling with tree limbs and sparking fires if offshore winds expected to arrive Monday night pose a threat. Years of deadly fires started by PG&E’s wires in wind storms forced California’s largest utility to file for bankruptcy protection last year. The company emerged in July after agreeing to pay $25.5 billion to settle wildfire lawsuits.
PG&E’s warning came after California narrowly escaped rotating blackouts Sunday, as a holiday weekend heat wave sent temperatures soaring past 100 degrees (38 degrees Celsius). Blazes raging across the state wreaked havoc on the electric grid, taking down power plants and transmission lines and cutting power to 70,000 homes and businesses.
And it capped a difficult summer for the Golden State, which suffered one of the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreaks despite keeping many businesses closed. Days after an August hot spell triggered the first rotating outages since the energy crisis of 2001, lightning strikes across the state ignited fires that forced more than 100,000 people to evacuate.
PG&E equity has gotten blasted since the Paradise, CA disaster and the $25.5 billion settlement. The stock is trading under $10 per share … until these wildfires.
The Live-ex Fine Wine 50 index has been falling since September, only to start rising again with the Covid outbreak.
Let’s hope the Napa valley is spared the wildfires and PG&E shutdown. My concern is how Covid will impact the PICKING of the grapes … or will they just fall off the wine?
For those of you who love movies about wine, I would like to recommend “Sideways” about the Santa Barbara wine country (my favorite), or “Bottle Shock” about a Napa Valley winery (Chateau Montelena) winning a French wine tasting competition.
This may well be a scene from Pacific Gas and Electric’s management meeting. “Are you chewing gum?”