El Paso and California: The Ethical Aspect

Natural gas was found in El Paso. The El Paso gas company bought a redundant oil pipeline from the US Government, and used it to pipe their gas 700 miles to the coast of California, who used it to generate electricity.

One day California abandoned the contract, apparently because the oil companies had promised them cheaper fuel. The gas company nearly went bankrupt because San Francicso had taken 70% of the gas, but San Francicso didn't care. The gas company just managed to survive, by building pipelines up to the north and east and eventually supplying gas right across America.

Recently California ran out of electicity because of all the PCs left on and air conditioning systems running, and wanted gas from El Paso. The price had quadrupled.

Moral of Story

(Source of information: Alistair Cook's Letter from America, BBC Radio 4, 20 May 2001.)

This is part of Comments and queries are very welcome. Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2001.

Last updated: 20 May 2001.