Author, playwright, screenwriter and political activist Gore Vidal is pissed. Up until a few days ago, his home in the Hollywood Hills was happily off-grid — a move that came after the writer found himself without power for several days during a blackout last summer. In response, he had an array of solar panels set up on his roof to make him completely independent from the grid — and any rolling blackouts that California is used to this time of year. Everything was going well. That was, until, representatives from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power came by to conduct an inspection. From the interview,
“Although the DWP insists that the shutdown was a safety-related standard procedure according to their protocol, and that there were some issues with the way in which his solar system was set up and activated, Vidal questions the use of said protocol and the motives behind it. Simply put, he tells Truthdigâ€™s Associate Editor Kasia Anderson, ‘[utility companies] have no intention for anyone to use solar power so long as thereâ€™s a drop of oil anywhere in the world.’”
If you’ve never listened to or read anything from Vidal, the interview alone is worth the price of admission. This is not the type of person you want to necessarily tick off. On one hand, I can understand why the DWP might want to inspect the installation. Obviously, you don’t want this powerful piece of equipment sparking off any fires. On the flip side, however — and based on Vidal’s story — it appears that a great deal of red tape and poor communication spoiled this green party.
Hit the interview for more info — and a taste of Vidal’s spite for the Department of Water and Power.