Cutting Through The Crap

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Grid-Lock


Here's an article about America's failing power grids, and the fact that we can't get our politics and politicians together to fix it. Public vs private money, evidently, is the argument. That and, I suppose, unwillingness to do any damn thing that's good for the country as long as Obama favors it. The usual, in other words. (Oh. And the "expert" -- perish the word! -- in this case seems to have a Muslim name.)

Since the early 1990s, according to data gathered by Massoud Amin, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, the number of power outages affecting more than 50,000 people a year has more than doubled, and blackouts now drain between $80 billion and $188 billion from the U.S. economy every year. The power grid is slipping backwards to a time when infrastructure was unreliable, and more and more people are talking about going “off the grid” with solar, batteries, and generators as a result. Will this doom the greater grid, and by extension the greater good?

It’s not easy to keep 450,000 miles of high voltage lines up and humming. But the situation has gotten worse over the years because the U.S. has increased the load on its lines while investing less in the system. ...

Across the power and wonkish sectors, though, there’s a fair amount of agreement that the U.S. needs to make massive investments in the backbone of the grid, as well as in a self-healing grid that can better handle outages (and hackers), and in information technology to make the grid “smart.”...

But in the political climate of the last decade, Americans have not gotten their act together. “We have wasted 10 years arguing about the role of the public and private sectors,” says Amin, “and our competitors have moved ahead of us.” He believes we need a leader who, like Kennedy, can pitch a big investment as a “moonshot,” but laments that “we’ve got gridlock on policy and uncertainty with investment.”

Okay, let's think for a minute... Of the choices facing us in November, which candidate/party is more likely to see the need for investing large amounts of money in such a thing? Spend for the common good, which, OMG, might require the redistribution of tax money.

It's a concrete example of the future that will result if the Ryan/Rominee approach to taxes and spending is allowed to happen. But, hey, who cares, right? Long as we're protecting tax cuts, people can afford generators in their penthouses. Power their car elevators, feed their dressage horses. Shouldn't be a problem.

So never mind.


2 comments:

Frank Drackman said...

Ummm,
my POV is obviously restricted to the Best-us State in the US, but................
I don't get this whole "Infrastructure" hulla-baloon.
The Infrastructure in Georgia is just fine, and they haven't raised State Sales/Income Taxes since 1992, which is coincidentally when the Georgia State lottery started...
And my Power never goes out, which sort of pisses me off, cause I've got that back up generator that never gets used...
Now those stupid Horses OTOH...
I don't mind wasting several hundred thousand dollars on private school tuition, cause there's :)! really no alternative, but....
Do you realize I spend more on medical care for our Dog/Cat/Ferret/Horses than I do on MYSELF!?!?!?!?!?

Frank

AlisonH said...

Uh, Frank, my sister lives in Georgia and will tell you you are quite wrong. And if you need to pay for private school education because the public system ain't doin' its job, you just proved Sid's point, didn't you?