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California power crisis sends Intel Bunnypeople east

Cannot fab on booze and craic alone

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Intel's frisky, hard-working Bunnypeople may be given maps of the Rocky Mountains and sent East. According to CEO Craig Barrett, California's energy crisis could force Intel to move some of its manufacturing operations out of its home state.

California residents are wearily familiar with threats of rolling power cuts across the state, and warnings urging them to save power.

The crisis is attributed to the deregulation of the power business in 1996: what Harry Snyder, of the Consumer's Union describes as "the biggest mistake in California history since giving away land to the railroads". However, the power generators - who blame high energy prices for the shortage - contributed by closing power plants.

Last month Governor Gray Davis - who received significant financial contributions from the power companies in his election bid - introduced a "temporary" 90-day price hike, much to the outrage of consumer groups. Businesses pay the highest

Intel, which has fabs in Europe and the middle East, has already eyed up real estate in Colorado.

But how Chipzilla manages to churn out as many processors as it does on the laughable voltages of the US electric system - it takes ten minutes to boil a kettle here, if you can find a kettle - is quite beyond the ken of this Vulture. ®

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