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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:04 AM

Nationís aging electrical grid needs billions of dollars in investment, report says

Source: Washington Post

A staggering investment is needed in infrastructure that is reaching the end of its life span if the United States is to remain competitive and serve its growing population.

The experts have been saying that for years, and the latest report on an aspect of their concern was released Thursday, when the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) described the nationís electrical grid as a patchwork system that ultimately will break down unless $673 billion is invested in it by 2020.

If investment isnít increased by at least $11 billion a year, the report said, the electrical service interruptions between now and 2020 will cost $197 billion.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/nations-aging-electrical-grid-needs-billions-of-dollars-in-investment-report-says/2012/04/26/gIQAEl12jT_story.html

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Reply Nationís aging electrical grid needs billions of dollars in investment, report says (Original post)
alp227 Apr 2012 OP
Speck Tater Apr 2012 #1
DJ13 Apr 2012 #2
PatrynXX Apr 2012 #3
dkf Apr 2012 #4
Demeter Apr 2012 #4
SpaceChief Apr 2012 #9
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #11
Tesha Apr 2012 #12
SpaceChief Apr 2012 #14
kristopher Apr 2012 #20
kristopher Apr 2012 #21
Tesha Apr 2012 #39
kristopher Apr 2012 #46
Tesha Apr 2012 #48
kristopher Apr 2012 #50
Tesha Apr 2012 #51
kristopher Apr 2012 #52
Demeter Apr 2012 #27
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #37
SpaceChief Apr 2012 #13
OKNancy Apr 2012 #15
jpak Apr 2012 #23
Demeter Apr 2012 #28
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #38
newspeak Apr 2012 #40
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #54
kristopher Apr 2012 #19
sendero Apr 2012 #22
Demeter Apr 2012 #26
ieoeja Apr 2012 #34
wordpix Apr 2012 #24
sakabatou Apr 2012 #6
SpartanDem Apr 2012 #7
pansypoo53219 Apr 2012 #8
SpaceChief Apr 2012 #16
groundloop Apr 2012 #17
Demeter Apr 2012 #29
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #10
ProudProgressiveNow Apr 2012 #18
wordpix Apr 2012 #25
CrispyQ Apr 2012 #32
Demeter Apr 2012 #43
marias23 Apr 2012 #30
CrispyQ Apr 2012 #31
sinkingfeeling Apr 2012 #33
newspeak Apr 2012 #41
Demeter Apr 2012 #44
mikeytherat Apr 2012 #35
truthisfreedom Apr 2012 #36
zzaapp Apr 2012 #42
Demeter Apr 2012 #45
MatthewStLouis Apr 2012 #47
lovuian Apr 2012 #49
ozone_man Apr 2012 #53
Odin2005 Apr 2012 #55

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:07 AM

1. This aging empire gets more brittle every year. nt

 

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:16 AM

2. Great timing

We just got our electricity back on an hour ago from a blackout that lasted nearly two hours.

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:26 AM

3. great timing in another way. JOBS

course the republicans don't want jobs. hence the bridges haven't been repaired yet.

called the old if it ain't broke dont fix it. yeah but when it breaks.. and there's no parts for it. your wasting alot of down time, then it gets way more expensive than what would have happened if you had fixed it..

cheaper way to fix this is via solar panels for some. that forgo's most of the wire problems.. Provided we pick a Solar company thats legit. not a Republican picked company...

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:05 AM

4. It needs a trillion to accommodate renewable energy.

 

I had hoped this would be the focus of the stimulus but no.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:05 AM

4. Or, We could decentralize and de-monopolize the Electricity system

Thereby ensuring security, safety, and lowest cost possible for the foreseeable future.

The only reason to have a large grid is to facilitate large utilities. It cuts their costs and maximizes their profits, while holding the consumers hostage.

And it litters the landscape with high voltage transmission lines and supporting structures, introducing massive power losses in the process.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:35 AM

9. There's a million practical reasons for the large grid

There's a million practical reasons for the large grid, and you don't have to be an Einstein to figure that out.

It's mindless thinking like yours that scares many away from the left, people like you, obviously ignorant of effective electrical management (some solutions offered by some on the left for other issues display audacious ignorance of scale and practicality) offering hysterically ignorant one line solutions... and I am a hardcore progressive. Offering dumb solutions is like saying - don't take us seriously.

An integrated grid becomes even more necessary when alternative energy strategies are being contemplated. In the past, would you have preferred a thousand more fossil fuel burning plants that ultimately would way over produce for their area requirements? Are you that dense? Too small a grid severely weakens national security as well.

A more intelligent large grid would be very useful, with more switching points and options regarding switching. Alternative energy opens the door to more localized generation, but the large grid is still HUGELY important. Maybe if you knew more about technology first, you could offer better solutions, rather than flagging us as myopic morons.

I am, of course, quite peeved that government infusions for alternative energy research were gutted by Reagan, don't be as myopic as that guy. I have followed alternative energy fairly closely for nearly 30 years. I am also a 40 year veteran of technology and a programmer of more than 35 yr.s experience, considered expert at industrial technologies of various types and possess a degree in electrical engineering.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:10 AM

11. First reply out of the gate...

 

Hostility and arrogance, followed by an interesting combination of condescension and an appeal for acceptance.

This should be interesting...

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #11)


Response to Tesha (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:01 AM

14. Thank you

We complain when the GOP obfuscates fact, but we shouldn't police amongst our own? We should be apologists from incoherence like they are, or - for that mater - Bible-thumpers..

I'd have appreciated a 'why can't they' from the OP - I'd have answered politely and in greater depth on the subject. That's what people should do when they don't "KNOW" or can't make a practical counter argument.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:40 AM

20. If you knew what you are talking about then you'd know...

...that a smart grid and an efficient transmission system is *exactly* what is required to decentralize and demonopolize the energy system. The list of advantages associated with the comment by Demeter is extremely long and is exactly the direction that the head of FERC, the agency responsible for the nation's energy delivery systems, is heading. He is quoted as saying several times that we do not need to EVER build another coal or nuclear plant.

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Response to Tesha (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:45 AM

21. It has nothing to do with being a "propagandist" - losses ARE massive.

Moving the bulk of generation as close as possible to the user is a basic premise of a renewable distributed grid. We will still need a sophisticated transmission and distribution system, but it will be far less important as it provides support for locally generated power. The role drops from nearly 100% of power delivered to around 20% of power delivered.

Only a propagandist would try to misinform people about the benefits of the system that will displace fossil fuels.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #21)


Response to Tesha (Reply #39)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:13 PM

46. Overall losses in the system due to transmission

are on the order of 7 percent. Additionally the cost of maintaining reliability with large scale centralized generation is far higher than a distributed system and the ultimate results are poorer.

7 percent on the entire system is huge. With distributed generation there is still going to be a lot of long distance transmission, but the amount that is generated locally is so much larger that the aggregate losses on the smaller percentage that is sent long distance is far less.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #46)


Response to Tesha (Reply #48)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:54 PM

50. I didn't dodge your question Tesha

It isn't relevant to the issue at hand. If you want to make a point with that particular piece of data then stop playing games and make your point.

You may not consider 7% of our electrical supply to be significant but that represents about 40 nuclear reactors worth of generation.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #50)


Response to Tesha (Reply #51)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:16 PM

52. That's correct. It is irrelevant because it is irrelevant.

If you have an argument that will make it relevant then by all means present it; no one is stopping you except yourself.

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Response to Tesha (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:34 AM

27. As a survivor of the Great Northeast Blackout

who suffered significant business losses due to the incompetence of a utility in another state, I find your wholesale dismissal of my opinion quite humorous. There's the big picture, the small picture, and fantasy.

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Response to Tesha (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:45 AM

37. You know as well as the other FNG did when he wrote his screed

 

that the poster was making a point and did so in a way that didn't come near warranting that offensive a reply.

Perhaps you enjoy needlessly rude and arrogant and if so, there 4 million Yahoo! groups available. This place is supposed to be better than that.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 05:55 AM

13. If you see it that way, fine but

Hello, is Freud in?

Sorry bud, I'm a veteran, and one that has seen the farcical paradox of many of our national policies, first hand, in several countries. For example, poo-pooing Marco's in the PI, a former colony and great resource in WWII as he decimated their Constitution and put the population in wary fear of each other, WHILE simultaneously having rebuilt their long time enemy and ours in WWII, Japan, with continued vigorous support. Nothing wrong with the Japan part - a lot wrong with ignoring the people of the PI so they could maintain Naval Op.s w/o government frictions. Ditto for Bahrain and many other lesser known incidents.

Additionally, I've lost friends in the service and spend hundreds of hours each year petitioning and organizing for veterans care for those in from these two latest fiascoes.

Which brings me to my point.

Speaking nicely always has caused a great deal of grief and unnecessary death throughout history. Really dumb thinking leads to really dumb voters and equally dumb wars. Even dumber death.

You attack me for sharply rebuking someone who had the audacity to make statements with an air of authority when it is immediately apparent that none could possibly exist to an INFORMED reader. Readers from unrelated fields may innocently mistake the statements as having some sort of validity and - as no one can be expert all at once about all there is - tender the same point to another. And so on...

Further the connotation in the statement to which I replied was one of misplaced cynicism in addition to being technically ludicrous. Corporations can act with the utmost despicable behaviors, no doubt - and many utilities do to greater or lesser degrees. They need to be attacked and brought to bear for those activities. Muddying up a clean argument with spurious or outright whole cloth hysterical counterpoints only weakens the case for the just.

Regardless of any political stance, troops of all services have never been too lazy, now or in the past to do all the tedious, often ugly work associated with maintaining the military and operations they may be asked to perform. Generally the demand for those operations arises from the voters - whether drummed up falsely, or from rightful concern.

People shouldn't be so lazy as to not have facts at hand before making public commentary in form of fact. Or - when voting.

I'd have responded quite differently had the remarks been framed differently. I have been, as have many, many others like myself, barking about the grid for over thirty years. We see the effects - all the time - in equipment issues and so forth. Imagine what the outcry would be if the Government tried to push a stronger national guidance on the grid ... oh! The socialism!

Yet, the Enron rolling black-out campaign would have been thwarted and the general integrity of the grid would be much better off with strong policy. That's not the same as the gov nationalizing the utilities, just restoring the 'public trust' part of the corporate charter ideas of the 1880's.

Count me as sick and tired of people jumping on boards and media with ideas - a frightening number of which gain traction, maybe because of unenlightened mass media borrowing from them - which are wholly invalid. In this case, one doesn't have to think even ten minutes - even if uninformed - rationalizing backwards from their outlets, to see the first problems with the fully local proposition.

A lot of people seem to assume that the GOP is somehow the party of national defense, and more 'patriotic'. Never mind that they have little in the way of wartime success post Civil War, start wars on spurious grounds and worst of all - they defecate all over veterans returning from the very wars they agitated for. See the IAVA veteranreportcard.org site. Excepting 2008, the GOP has been horrific and even in 08 still well outscored by Democrats in the aggregate. They were as bad before 08 as 2010. Numerous other vet org.s give equally or even more abysmal marks.

Now, how does such thinking persist? How does it get started?

People trying to be too nice.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:04 AM

15. Welcome to DU

There are a handful of posters here who are just negative on every single thing.
It doesn't matter the subject.

Thank you for taking the time to write. Believe me, it's appreciated by 95% of the posters here.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:16 AM

23. Welcome SSpace Chief!

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:35 AM

28. Maurice Minnifield, is that you?

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:55 AM

38. I'm not your bud, the abusive tone of your very first post ensured that. Second,

 

you're only one of very many veterans here so you can leave that shit @ the door as well, especially since it has nothing whatsoever to do with this topic, so no points there either.

Done with you unless you want to take this over to H&M. Come off like an overbearing asshole out of the gate and expect to get it right back.

Oh and BTW, I agree with your point.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:06 PM

40. back in 1988, I did a paper in environmental science

on the environmental impact from dams like the aswan. We were to identify the problem and offer the solution. My solution was to decentralize utilities. at the time, I also argued the security factor in smaller grid systems. Also, different environments allow for different energy sources, such as wind, solar and wave.

Now, about our infrastructure. Of course, our infrastructure has taken a hit since our money has been funneled to private contractors to rebuild places we bombed, like iraq. And, I might add that some of those contractors have done a shitty job rebuilding their infrastructure, but still got paid. Little boots gave his wealthy friends the tax cut, which most have either sat on the money or shipped it out. That's because they are all really great, red, white and blue americans. Our power grid, bridges, highways and mass transportation all need an overhaul. And, we're talking major jobs here; but it won't happen as long as all focus is on WS and profit for the global corps over our own interest.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:15 PM

54. Welcome to DU! And I agree with you!

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:34 AM

19. Dr Gregory!

Hello again.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:01 AM

22. Lets just say that.

... as someone who is knee-deep and heavily invested in the current system, you might not be the most objective possible source of information on the subject.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:25 AM

26. I ALSO possess a BSEE, built solar house and experiment with PV

but on the other hand, I am a small d democrat.

There are even better arguments for decentralizing. Too bad you don't support them. But in the end, it will happen. What cannot (and doesn't need to) continue, won't.

I think if the people are secure in their lives and their houses, the nation's security will follow.

This is an ECONOMIC issue, not a technical one. The technical problems are trivial, well understood and fixable.

The socio-economic-political ones are not, without the paradigm shift of breaking essential services away from centralized, multinational corporate controls.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:47 AM

34. About being an ass...


--------------------
Not an Ass:

There's a million practical reasons for the large grid.

An integrated grid becomes even more necessary when alternative energy strategies are being contemplated. In the past, would you have preferred a thousand more fossil fuel burning plants that ultimately would way over produce for their area requirements? Too small a grid severely weakens national security as well.

A more intelligent large grid would be very useful, with more switching points and options regarding switching. Alternative energy opens the door to more localized generation, but the large grid is still HUGELY important.

I am, of course, quite peeved that government infusions for alternative energy research were gutted by Reagan. I have followed alternative energy fairly closely for nearly 30 years. I am also a 40 year veteran of technology and a programmer of more than 35 yrs experience, considered expert at industrial technologies of various types and possess a degree in electrical engineering.


--------------------
A Complete Ass!

You don't have to be an Einstein to figure that out.

It's mindless thinking like yours that scares many away from the left, people like you, obviously ignorant of effective electrical management (some solutions offered by some on the left for other issues display audacious ignorance of scale and practicality) offering hysterically ignorant one line solutions... and I am a hardcore progressive. Offering dumb solutions is like saying - don't take us seriously.

Are you that dense?

Maybe if you knew more about technology first, you could offer better solutions, rather than flagging us as myopic morons.


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Response to Demeter (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:22 AM

24. +1000 and decentralization should include renewables at the core

Solar for Phoenix, LA and NO, wind for the Gt. Lakes, biomass + solar + wind + small hydro for New Eng., etc.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:25 AM

6. Who wants to bet that such investment will pass the House?

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:29 AM

7. Sounds like communism to me

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:56 AM

8. we need top think outside the grid.

especially since watching the PBS thing on the sun.

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:25 AM

16. WE do but

We need to think more outside of the way the grid gets its power. The grid however, is absolutely vital to efficient management of power - to ensure its availability and more - much more.

I am all for the localized grid too, its always been done that way - smaller localized grids which are sub-components of the 'national' grid. Even if your power generator is many miles away, your community gets a trunk feed and its power dispersed to numerous other sub-stations, each of which serves its grid.

By revamping the grid intelligently, we can integrate the greater number of smaller but clean generators more efficiently which will have a few added benefits, too. But the greatest benefit arises when, in a secure fashion, the entire grid is interconnected and meticulously controlled. Did you know, for example, that broadband to rural areas would be possible with cleaner, filtered lines? BPL - Broadband over power lines. Not feasible without at least a regional grid. This doesn't mean it can't (as it is) be implemented within smaller installations successfully, just that real benefit to far more would depend on the larger grid.

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Response to SpaceChief (Reply #16)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:53 AM

17. Welcome to DU. Now how about a little more civility please.

It's perfectly possible to disagree with someone without attacking them personally with taunts like "it's mindless thinking like yours...." ; " people like you, obviously ignorant......"; etc.

Thank you.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:36 AM

29. No need to defend me

I get the same abuse from the condo board....and then I get to say "I told you so". Small consolation, but one takes it where one finds it.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:04 AM

10. $2T - $7T in infrastructure spending NEEDED yesterday.

 

And that's just to repair and maintain the inadequate facility we have now. What we get is less than $1T primarily consisting of tax cuts and organizational welfare.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:32 AM

18. We need infrastucture investment.

Roadblock after roadblock by the Reps.

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Response to ProudProgressiveNow (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:24 AM

25. gawd forbid the money hoarder$ who've made billion$ since 2000 would contribute to fix the grid

First they've got to figure out ways to get gov. $$$, as the article intimates at the end:

"ďThe money is sitting on the sidelines,Ē Hebert said. ďWhy is the money sitting on the sidelines? For the most part because we havenít inspired anybody to get out there and build this infrastructure in a way that they might believe thereíd be a returnĒ on their investment."

The money grubbing Repugs have to have "inspiration" to believe they'd get a return on investmt. Translation: Where are the gov. billions?

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Response to wordpix (Reply #25)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:03 AM

32. They will have privatized grids that will provide uninterrupted service,

even during the hottest of summers. They will have privatized roads that aren't ridden with potholes to drive on. If the roads cannot circumvent the 99%, they will fly, instead.

I honestly believe this is where we're going. The Sprawl - damn, Gibson was so ahead of his time!

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #32)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:24 PM

43. You nailed it, right there

The Marie Antoinette Syndrome

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:51 AM

30. In 1982, the Rocky Mountain Institute told the Pentagon the same thing! 1982!

The Rocky Mountain Institutes is a nonpartisan think tank which is even hired by the Pentagon to do research under the direction of genius of Hunter and Amory Lovins. Th Institute was hired to study the US electric grid and determined that it was "brittle" - very vulnerable to breakdown and attack FORTY YEARS AGO. Will we wait another 40 for something to be done? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittle_Power

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:58 AM

31. Remember when W said we were going to upgrade the grid after that huge blackout in the Northeast?

When was that? '02? '03? And for a week there was all talk about updating the outdated grid. Oh & the pundits were so happy to have a hot issue to talk about for a few days, but when the next event occurred & the grid was off the radar. Never any followup by the administration or the media.

The media is such a huge part of the problem in this county.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:08 AM

33. Didn't some guy named George W. Bush promise to fix our aging

electrical grid?


ďAs we conserve energy at home and on the road, technology will help us deliver it more efficiently. New technologies such as superconducting power lines can help us bring our electrical grid into the 21st century, and protect American families and businesses from damaging power outages. Some of you who live in the Midwest and on the East Coast know what I'm talking about -- damaging power outages. We have modern interstate grids for our phone lines and our highways. It's time for America to build a modern electricity grid.Ē

April 2005

http://burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=af2c3e07-5ce0-4315-91ba-43a0aa59f596&Region_id=&Issue_id=ad0c192a-993f-7469-ffdc-3df0afc21dff

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:15 PM

41. what I remember about little boots

is the screwing and suffering of the people in california by little boot's bestest friend ENRON. California should have never deregulated, to allow a greedy, immoral, psycho corporation like enron to screw them. and anyone wondering why I literally loathe privatization. How many small businesses went under, how many seniors died because of enron's greed?

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #33)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:26 PM

44. Oh, He Fixed It, All Right

with Enron.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:51 AM

35. Nationís aging [insert neglected infrastructure] needs billions of dollars in investment

Seriously. This is news?

mikey_the_rat

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:54 AM

36. The only effective way for us to handle this is to include some decentralization as well.

If we have a massive CME event that takes out the grid, we'll need decentralized power as well as a stop-gap while we rebuild.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:22 PM

42. I agree with Demeter.....good post.

 

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Response to zzaapp (Reply #42)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:27 PM

45. Thank you, you made my day!

Always nice to meet a new friend.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:22 PM

47. Start putting real money into infrastructure and the GOP's worst nightmare occurs...

a growing economy, millions of new jobs; under a democratic President.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:52 PM

49. War for over 20 years has not brought

America prosperity but poorer and heading for third world status
in healthcare
in education
in military prowess
in technology

the sucking sound of all our resources from our children to food to mineral to water

is being sucked out by the top 1 %

there will be a showdown and it comes soon

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:46 PM

53. Too bad we spent it already on endless war and TBTF. n/t

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:16 PM

55. We are becoming a 3rd World banana republic.

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