February 24, 2014
After experiencing the recent ice storm that gripped much of the East Coast in crippling power outages lasting for days, leaving many without access to heat and food, one thing is abundantly clear – changes must be made to the manner in which power is provided and transferred from the source to the American people.
It is well-known that the American electrical grid, even absent natural disasters, is already overtaxed, presenting an enormous risk not only to the living standards of the American people but also a legitimate national security concern. Michael Snyder of the Economic Collapse website has written extensively on the vulnerability of the U.S. power grid.
Consider his article “If One Storm Can Turn D.C. Dark For Several Days, What Would A Massive EMP Burst Do?” In his article, Snyder details the aftermath of the “derecho” that swept across the Midwest and South, leaving millions without power for almost a week.
What should be even more concerning is the fact that the American power grid is not so much a grid as it is a patchwork of varying methods of energy provision strung together in haphazard fashion. This is no way for the American people, who rely so much on electricity, to receive power in the 21st century.
To top it all off, the vast majority of power is provided by private utility companies whose only reason for existence is to make a profit (as is the case for all private companies). Thus, the cost of the utilities provided by these companies is generally much more expensive and the services are generally less efficient than those areas in which power is provided by the municipality.
Currently, in most parts of the country, the American power grid is strung together with temporary power cables that themselves rest upon temporary poles. This method of power connectivity may have served us well enough early on, but times have progressed and our technology and services should progress along with them. Power lines strung on overloaded wooden poles is no longer a sustainable option for transferring power in this century.
We must immediately begin work to investigate methods to bury power cables underground so that falling limbs and other accidents no longer cause wide-scale power outages. Compared to the constant maintenance these lines require in their current mode, such a project is well within the range of cost-effectiveness when looked at from a long-term perspective. In addition, the elimination of worry over all too common weather-related power outages would be well worth the investment from both the point of view of the municipality, power company, and especially the consumer.
In some locations, power lines are already buried underground. The individuals fortunate enough to live in these areas are virtually immune to ice, snow, and wind related outages from downed power lines. While much of the east coast was plunged in frigid darkness, these citizens were able to sympathize from the warmth of their own homes as they watched the scenes unfold on their television.
Of course, it is true that burying power cables does not necessarily mean that they will be immune to all forms of damage and that power outages will no longer exist. However, the vulnerability of power services to damage will be greatly reduced, thus reducing the amount of outages resulting from the damage that is now considered “business as usual.”
The only legitimate argument against burying power cables, outside of some very unique and specific environmental concern for a specific location, is the element of cost.
While such a project would indeed cost a large sum of money, this financing is readily available in the form of interest free credit as provided by a nationalized Federal Reserve or as a partially nationalized Fed working in the interest of the American people.
Such financing should indeed be included as part of the overall revamping and rebuilding of the national infrastructure, an immediate necessity that should be pursued without delay.
This national revitalization program can be easily accomplished by nationalizing the Federal Reserve and subsequently issuing the required amount of money through 0% interest credit to companies or governments. If the Federal Reserve can cough up trillions of dollars of cheap credit for Wall Street, it can cough up an equal amount for the American people and their infrastructure.
Even better, a nationalized Federal Reserve can immediately begin to buy up state, local, and municipal bonds at 0% interest plus 100 year maturity requirements. This would provide the necessary financing to bury power cables and free the United States from such ever-increasing failures of the current power system while allowing these governments to pay for the developments with no fear of financial foreclosure or indebtedness to a private banking cartel.
If the reader is interested in the ways that the Federal Reserve can be nationalized and used to generate a national recovery, please read my article Nationalize the Federal Reserve for details on this concept.
In the 21st Century, simple winter storms, wind gusts, and other seasonal disturbances should not be capable of cutting off power to such a large portion of the country for such a long period of time. Instead of increasing austerity, privatization, and cost cutting, it is time for America to reinvest in its own infrastructure, reject unfair trade deals, engage in healthy protectionism, and thus begin a national economic recovery.