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Gray Davis Orders Businesses Fined for Violation of Emergency Orders
Face $1000 a day fines and criminal charges

2/2/2001

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Governor Gray Davis has ordered business to turn off their lights or face $1000 a day in fines as well as criminal misdemeanor charges.

County sheriffs and the California Highway patrol have been given the authority to cite businesses as of March 15 when the program become mandatory.    The order will be in place until the governor decides to rescind it.

This is the first action Davis has taken since declaring a state of emergency on January 17.  Critics of the governor say he should instead focus on using his emergency powers to fast track the building of new power plants.

Other steps taken by the governor include rebates for energy-saving appliances, a TV commercial suggesting people wash their clothes after 7pm to save energy.

Many business owners are hesitant about having the government snooping around checking on their energy consumption.  Others are concerned that the state would be liable for any increase in crime that occurred when businesses are forced to turn off security lighting.  The state may also be held responsible for any injuries suffered due to the new restrictions.

In addition, energy experts are questioning whether turning off lights during non-peak hours will result in any actual savings.  Most of the power produced during the evenings must be used during that period. 

PoliticalUSA.com, 2001

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