the california power crisis. here and here. the problem came from mixing a a half-assed free-market approach with corporate welfare. generally, the government did three things: enforced companies to become distributors only, barred long-term price rate contracts between distributors and producers, and limited the price the distributors could charge the consumers. so both sides took advantage, and the distributors are getting screwed: the producers (the power plants) decreased supply to increase their price and make more money, consumers increased demand cause they saw no increased cost, making it even worse. so the distribution companies are bankrupting, and bills are being discussed to shift the burden to tax payers, californians or maybe even all of the US if the federal government bails them out. the california state government fucked up, be it because of corporate lobbying or an interest in saving residents money or just bad economic theory.