My hometown of San Bernardino is just the latest in a potentially growing list of cities to file for bankruptcy protection. There are numerous reasons why cities, counties, and states are facing such drastic measures. Some cite a drop in tax revenues due to the decline in housing values. Others, as in the case of Stockton, CA, legacy costs—meaning pensions. California’s Mammoth Lakes blames a debilitating court judgment. In San Bernardino’s case misconduct in the city council is alleged, and a criminal investigation is underway.
Having graduated from high school and attended college in San Bernardino, CA, my interest was piqued when I heard that it had become the third California city to file for bankruptcy. The mix of declining revenues and increasing costs are pinching government budgets nationwide, and many more bankruptcies are expected.
Obviously, as individual households and businesses have done, spending needs to be cut back in all possible areas. Cut a little here, cut a little there, and hopefully it will be enough to add up to real savings.
Faced with the dire consequences of bankruptcy, why are cities and states voluntarily, under legislative mandate, paying more than they have to for energy? Couldn’t they declare a “state of emergency” and simply waive the mandates for more expensive wind and solar power?
I don’t know if that is really something they can do or not, but it is something voters can do. We can elect people who want to return to common sense energy policy.