Here’s “Paradise Lost,” my review of Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano’s FIRE IN PARADISE: An American Tragedy, in the Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, May 12, 2020, page A13.


FIRE IN PARADISE is the 25th book I’ve reviewed for the Wall Street Journal, and the 37th I’ve reviewed professionally. Here’s the full list.



  1. Nice review Gregory:
    The state twice denied and delayed PG&E’S applications to rebuild the Caribou-Palermo 115 kv line prior to the fire:
    Classification: Public
    For example, in a 2017 ratemaking proceeding, the CPUC stated,
    “While the CPUC recognizes that repair and replacement are necessary components of a utility’s operation, the amount that PG&E has been spending on what appears primarily to be replacement of transmission facilities is staggering and potentially unjustified.”
    (Ex. A, Initial Br. of the CPUC,
    Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Dkt. No. ER16-2320-002 (Mar. 15, 2018) at 8.)
    The CPUC also stated
    “there was reason to believe that PG&E was “‘gold plating’ the system” and “unreasonably burden[ing] ratepayers with unnecessary costs.” (Id. at 2-3.)
    “Waiting to see which systems fail can assure that equipment is used to its maximum useful life and could reasonably be argued as a rational way to minimize system costs (“if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”).” – CPUC Policy & Planning Division White Paper 10-3-2013
    This ratemaking process has resulted in settlements at amounts less than what PG&E initially requested. Going forward, PG&E hopes to work with all relevant stakeholders to re-calibrate the level of investment in transmission asset replacement that will be supported in light of the unprecedented wildfire risk California is now facing.

    1. Thank you, Abbas. I think about you and all my other friends in Alpine Club of Iran every time I see Iran in the news. Hope you all are doing okay through this hard time.

  2. If the book is as good as the review its gonna be a big seller.
    When does it look like that hole is going to be put down in V. C.?
    Was craving for trifle on mother’s day.
    Hope you are back in the construction zone.

    1. Good book. The authors did the story right. Trifle would be so great. I’m gonna have to figure out how to make that sometime. Our crew got back on the job last week, so progress is getting made. Hope you’re going strong down south. Cheers, GC

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