National Security and U.S. Energy Infrastructure

It’s kind of sad that we can’t recognize the need for competent energy infrastructure without having to resort to national security justifications. On the other hand, that did get us some highways in the 1950s, so maybe this will work (boldface mine):

After devoting the first portion of the segment to the numerous places that lost power (including the White House and numerous Smithsonian museums) and the headaches that were caused, Jansing noted the reason for the outage: “What happened? The power company says all this caused by this, a transmission line fell off its foundation.”

While Jansing mentioned that the reason for the power outage was “a relatively small thing,” she added that it’s “pointing to a big problem.”

Following a soundbite from a Navy admiral with the U.S. Naval Command, Jansing began building the case for more funding:

We do know the U.S. electric grid loses power almost three times more often than it did in 1984. Much more than any other industrialized nation. Japan loses power an average of 4 minutes a year, but in the northeast U.S., 214 minutes, according to a University of Minnesota analysis and it just keeps getting worse. The main reasons? Aging infrastructure and increased demand from hotter summers, but now, experts worry about the growing cyber threat.

Jansing closed out her report by arguing that “there’s widespread agreement the power grid has to be updated and protected from cyber attacks” with the issue being the cost “as it often is in Washington.”

It’s worth noting that less than ten miles from the White House, electrical outages are a regular occurrence. Maybe appealing to national security will work because nothing else has so far.


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2 Responses to National Security and U.S. Energy Infrastructure

  1. AndrewD says:

    But,But surely Private Enteprise will fill the gap….
    thats what we get told this side of the pond

  2. We know exactly what happened, consequently we know exactly how to fix it.

    Because of the deregulation craze that exploded under Ronald Reagan, utilities were no longer required – as a prerequisite for doing business in America – to invest in infrastructure improvements consistent with easily predictable growth and shifts in demand. Nor were they required to invest in fundamental research that would underlay useful improvements in the technology. EPRI was reduced to a pale shadow of its former glory, new lines didn’t get built, old lines didn’t get upgrades, and as we speak German disaster porn enthusiasts are touring our nation to laugh at our pathetic museum pieces as they soldier on in service.

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