A California utility that cut off power to curb wildfires may have caused them
from the newsroom. I'm the Washington Post over NEO with the Washington Post this post reports podcast is brought to you by Cleveland Clinic ranked number one in Heart Care Twenty five years in a row learn more at Cleveland Clinic Dot Org Slash Care a wildfires that they can't afford to pay out at this point they have a stock that's shrinking and potentially going to go to zero in the near future we've never had more resources in this space than we do today this is a fire that started last one no confirmed deaths but more than one hundred twenty structures have burned so this is a very destructive and very dangerous fire Doug Macmillan reports and new rules for college athletes the biggest concern obviously in the northern part of the state is can kate it's only about fifteen percent contained at this point it is now California's largest fire of this year and luckily no one has died yet forest fires but p Jeannie is in a really bad situation they currently owe billions of dollars to previous victims and mission tower that malfunction near the site of the fire's ignition that belonged to Pacific gas and electric the largest utility this day in Sonoma's County California north of San Francisco more than two hundred thousand people have been evacuated the fire has consumed seventy five thousand acres on corporate accountability for the post the cause of the fire has not been confirmed but Doug says that investigators have an idea investigators are currently looking at hider in California it says it's trying to limit the potential for fires caused by it's wires down on trees and you today backlash to the controversial plan to prevent California wildfires plus the ballooning national deficit the fleas they are heating water and grilling food using a propane barbecue outside food is a big issue because we don't have any power so you have to be when you open the fridge and freezer and there's never really a deadline that you're giving initially four when the power outages blend has investors don't see positive future for this company and nobody wants to take a risk of owning this company and they're looking at some of the worst okay I live in Moraga California and I'm a nurse and they're essentially spending nights huddled around the gas fireplace to stay warm and they have to wrap the baby in two layers air conditions that California has ever seen that they're having wins above eighty miles per hour hurricane like winds and this is probably only going to get worse is caused by its equipment by essentially shutting off the power up to two million people were affected the largest blackout over the weekend and our colleagues pretty ham handed approach to trying to prevent fires yeah it's unprecedented there's no company has ever just decided that we're going to shut off the power to try to prevent let's go visiting with some of these people gets down to forty here and it gets really cold especially for my eighteen month old my name's Tyler Ray Dot com twenty nine years old because of climate change yes only even worse because of climate change and PG knee sees the only solution to limiting the potential damage as just shutting down the road sure altogether but isn't there another option it feels like this can't be the only option that's what I was wondering is ironically this is the place where you know you would growing threat of fire that's unpredictable the solution to this problem looks like it may be in pudding wires underground that takes I'm talking about huge swaths of people in California that have been affected by these blackouts and it does seem like want to see technological innovation address this problem pizzini says is doing everything that it needs to do to protect the safety of Californians in the face of I can imagine that finding billions of dollars to be able to do those kinds of big infrastructure projects doesn't seem like a short term possible not in a position to invest in that kind of thing right now a lot of people are mad at them for not doing this ten years ago that they think that we're in the position now because this utility didn't take the steps that they needed to take last decade there aren't that many good ideas right now and to put a fine point on that governor new some solicited Warren Buffett to come nation of this utility company would it would go towards something like how the government operates the water supply and water in California there are a lot of governor of California is just asking a billionaire to come and bail them out so if Warren Buffett decides he doesn't want to do that then then what's going to happen Jerry Brown's administration and he watched as p genie did not improve its infrastructure did not set itself up to prevent these kinds of situations happening gene so I think that there is some of the blame falls on state of California here and potentially they have to be part of the solution the government taking over are the largest utility in California poses some serious risks which are you know if there are large fires in the future sparked by Jeannie it's the government's responsibility than you have some serious questions around how you're GONNA pay those out it could destroy California's budget this is you know tens of billions of dollars in liability in take over the company Warren Buffett has not expressed any interest in coming to takeover pg any but I think that illustrates how desperate the situation is where the new normal and with respect to the L. A. PG need this is not a ten year process let me reject that outright as a governor you know previously he was in governor billions of dollars many years in in in in some cases it will take technological innovators so and if this is a utility that is currently facing bankruptcy Doug Nolan reports on corporate accountability for the happening and on top of that both the President and Republicans and Democrats in Congress just keep edging up the spending and so we are back in a situation where the California responsibility when you know people say that that it's part of California's fault by gotten a mess inside of that for one government isn't too happy with PG knee right now and I think he benefits politically from the fact that he can blame genie this is not the deficit was so big that Democrats were overspending and then he as a Republican would be able to bring things more in conservative fiscal lines so what are the Treasury Department announced Friday well it was the big announcement that everyone's been waiting for how much of a deficit in the United States run then the analysts I talked to so that it is increasing likelihood that the government may have to take over p genie that you might have to structure it as a municipal government is spending basically a trillion dollars more than they're bringing in revenue and it doesn't mean the world's going to end tomorrow but there there's legitimacy fiscal year two thousand nineteen and the Treasury announced on Friday that the United States had a nine hundred eighty four billion deficit if he were elected he would totally wipe out the US federal debt within eight years you say you want a balanced budget actually that we're talking about in California that that's a significant chunk of the state's budget so you know this is going to fall potentially on the tax payers concerned that you just can't keep doing this forever and isn't that something that president trump talked about a lot on the campaign trail the fact that and I feel like there are no good options here it's a lose lose situation Doug thank you so much thank you reporting for the post this is an unprecedented increase during good economic times traditionally when the economy's doing well if we're wing as much as the president says we should be taking in a lot more tax dollars from corporations and from individuals working again and that is just not certainly was trying to signal to Republicans I care about the deficit I'm going to be fiscally responsible I'm going to get the budget on track and shrink these deficits when in fact it's a fifty percent under his his tenure so far so it certainly just climbing year after year and has president trump or the White House said anything about the hey we're going to reduce taxes for individuals and corporations and that's going to generate more revenue from the treasury and again economists across the political spectrum said hypocrisy the Republicans caring about controlling the deficit and bringing down the debt when Democrats tend to be in the White House and then they go a little bit quieter is something that is good for the deficit meaning are we reducing the deficit or not it is time to deal with America's problems how can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying in problem George we've spent more than what we brought in for fifty five of the last sixty years this year the federal government have more revenue than any year in the history of our country three yet we're still going to have a nearly seven hundred billion dollar budget deficit president trump when he was campaigning and twenty sixteen made this eye-popping statement that when Republicans are in charge I think what's particularly hurting president trump is not only did he promise to eliminate the that during his presidency he and many of his colleagues were out there selling the tax cuts back in the twenty seventeen by arguing that in fiscal two thousand nineteen nearly a trillion dollars America is back and trillion dollar deficits heather long as an economics increase so basically everybody in Washington shook hands and said let's spend more it's one of the few things they agree on so what have we heard from Democrats on this has not panned out it's gone a lot more quiet on the deficit issues among Republicans since trump is taken office a number of people are pointing out that got it but let's not forget spending has also gone up under president trump spending on what president trump likes to talk about how he's boosted funding for all and basically it's costing two hundred billion a year and that is certainly helping to drive these deficits higher under president trump no doubt about alder dash and that's not how it works it's not going to happen and we are certainly seeing that in the numbers where revenue is barely up and again that's very different it's immoral to steal from our kids I do want a balanced budget we could do it a lot quick I mean I've heard people say we'll balance the budget within twenty years I'm saying twenty years what are you talking about into drive higher deficits so they've been pretty quiet on this issue although many will point out that historically the deficit has gone down under visit the tax cuts that the Republicans and president trump pass certainly are not helping the situation they were enacted at the twenty seventeen they took effect January first president are talking about big ideas and big programs that would probably also increase the national deficit Democrats are not going after president number of recent democratic presidents if the deficit continues to grow either under president trump or under a democratic president that might bring in a whole military and defense programs that is certainly true but in order to get that passed Democrats in Congress insisted that funding for a bunch of domestic programs also twenty eighteen it was the largest corporate tax cut and US history and also a pretty substantial tax cut for most Americans as enormously you'd see a big boost revenue in good economic heater so tell me more about exactly how the tax cuts have resulted in such a dramatic increase in the because I think that it's kind of an awkward position for them that yes president trump is being what someone call hypocritical but at the same time a lot of Democratic candidates for and now when Moore thing how student athletes could start to make money all set of new social services that need to be paid for what are the long term implications of that we were just an uncharted territory in the sense that they're and for these Republicans who would previously have been very excited about the idea of eliminating the dead are they saying anything about the fact that this promise emails from people like why are you making this out like it's a horrible problem in the United States can borrow debt really cheaply right now I why why wouldn't we do that too fun intially irreversible problem that suddenly stops just about everything overnight great Republicans have traditionally been the ones who squawk the most about rising debt the way I look at this is at the bottom line what we ought to do money and you can debate how much more the deficit would go up under different candidates but almost all of them have an increase in domestic spending in a way that's probably trumped over the rising deficits at least not among the two thousand twenty candidates and the very simple explanation why is almost all of them want to spend more money fleets who the NCAA views as student athletes are students first and athletes second my name is Ben Strauss rates historically speaking the yield on the tenure government bind is in the low to percents this is nothing's peanuts borrow right now and the concern happen and we've written about the deficit ally the Washington Post both under President Obama and under president trump and we get a lot of could come a time when the United States had so much debt that basically people around the world start to question rams and again it's not a problem until it is is it's sort of an eighteen twenty percent rates and that would be a huge problem for the United States like overnight funding dries up we can't support these programs the real question is when does the me from playing college sports the bedrock principle of college sports in the United States since the nineteen fifties has been a concept called amateurism and what it means is that L. in court against any incremental changes over the years you know that would increase benefits to athletes so what the NCAA said yesterday that they are willing to college athletes who are driving this business not seeing any of the money begins to look a little absurd but the NCAA has done a really good job of beating back these attacks and so very recently there were ever GonNa pay it back and if that happens boom overnight there could be a crisis at the moment United States can borrow money for very low a huge departure from the way the NCAA has talked for really seventy years so basically for the last ten cedar or that they are going to instruct working groups to consider how they might allow athletes to profit from their name their image and their likeness is introducing similar legislation there's discussion of federal law and so that is the impetus behind what the NCAA is doing. It's not a proactive statement this is better now flowing through college sports this is a ten billion dollar industry you have coaches that are making ten million dollar salaries and so you know the optics as well as the reality of going forward I think remains to be seen you could have athletes doing endorsement deals for Coca Cola for Nike for and that's Pretty Amorphous there is nothing actionable that they said yesterday there are a lot of caveats in what they said and so what this means Tangible California passed a bill that would go into effect in twenty twenty three that would allow athletes to sell their images do endorsement deals we don't believe you're going to repay and suddenly they're demanding really high rates if you look at countries that typically can't pay like Argentina you're talking about like to the NCAA this is what makes College Sports College Sports. What makes you tune into Alabama playing auburn is that these are students and not professionals they've gone to great lengths over the last seventy years to ensure that this is the system that continues Dave police schools athletes they fought tooth and nail along is an economics reporter for the post today so you can check it out I am Martine powers we'll be back tomorrow with more stories from the Washington Post ever a sports media in sports business the Washington Post and I am the CO author of indentured the inside story of the rebellion against the NCAA and accord being able to pursue their own market value in a lot of ways then Strauss covers the business of sports for the NCAA and universities Gwen to go that far down the road I think is still a question because in the statement you had you know very reactive to what's happening around the country now the second part of that is what are they actually sang beyond the statement that they are going to consider this awards like consistent with the collegiate model you had words like benefits instead of compensation and so I think what's important notice and local car dealerships for local businesses athletes getting compensated for a video game for College Footballer College Basketball now whether the NCAA really wants to maintain control of this system this is not a statement or or not an effort to sort of open the door to athletes taking this economy that is proven to be very lucrative for coaches administrators schools a number of states followed suit Holly Deep Jorgensen has been making a series of tick talks featuring real life presidential candidates they are very funny I'll be sharing a threat of those videos on twitter earn is you get to a situation where people around the world who've been buying this dad both in the United States and China in entity all around the world say years there have been a number of challenges to the college sports establishment there have been lawsuits of football team tried to unionize and essentially it's in response to the huge amounts of money and if you're on twitter follow me at Martine powers for posts about the behind the scenes happenings at post reports and around the Washington Post newsroom are I think that's it for today's show thanks for listening finding a Washington Post report I'm Martine powers?