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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:13 PM
Original message
Why is CBS ignoring the obvious about electric power?
According to CBS NEWS tonight:

Blackouts have increased dramatically in the last 5 years, especially in states like California.

Power lines and other infrastructure are not being replaced and fall apart during heat waves

Power bills have gone way up as the number of blackouts have increased.

Can anyone say PRIVATIZATION?

Now these greedy bastards want "economic incentives". Damn them. They didn't have to build the grids: taxpayer dollars did that. All they have to do is keep them up. But no, they just want a cash cow with no upkeep.

FUCKING BASTARDS!
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Why do you hate America?
With all your "facts" and "logic" and "making sense." Go live one of those awful commie countries like Canada or Sweeden!
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. There was some bureaucrat on CNN the other day...
I think he's actually some cabinet member or something and partially in responsible for the grid...

and the interviewer goes on about how shitty the system is and ask what he's doing about it... and he just sits there and explains how the system's fine and how it's just a freak occurance and how the system hasn't failed at all.

The interview took him to task for a little bit. Wasn't to hard on him though.

Anybody else see that?
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. bingo-- this is the legacy of deregulation in virtually every industry...
...where unbridled capitalism is thought to be some sort of godsend. Short term profits ALWAYS take priority over strategic planning because quarterly earnings are the benchmark for measuring performance.
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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. EXACTLY!
You've hit the nail on the head
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Cooley Hurd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. K&R... let's not forget the (late) poster boy for privatization:
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Freedom_Aflaim Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. Its not Privatization
Power companys have been private entities for a long long time, perhaps since the beginning even.

Tax dollars did not build the grids, although in few areas that might be true.

Its the de-regulation that is killing us.

Power companies used to be regulated, and were required to build their grids to certain standards so that they may withstand heat waves or other events.

For the most part, this is no longer the case.


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Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Deregulation. OK
:kick:
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. Deregulation is the evil twin to Privatization
I think air travel is the only area that I can think of that deregulation has actually benefitted the consumer, which is always the guise this charade is sold under.

With global warming and all, losing your power could actually be a death sentence. How about if we immediately go back to regulating the utilities as a matter of public health and safety. I bet the folks in Queens and Missouri would be happy to testify.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
31. Here in MT it's been privitazation. We used to own our hydro electric
power producing dams but the Repos sold them off.

The result? Sky rocketing power prices.
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rusty charly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
7. we pay for everything while
they draw management fees.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
9. could it have something to do with Westinghouse
which owns CBS?
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. Doubt it. Westinghouse sold CBS to Viacom 4 years ago.
:hi:

It's deregulation. The massive grid failure a couple of years ago over Great Lakes & Eastern eastern seaboard is the same result. Maintaining the infrastructure cuts into profits, which affect stock values, which affect quarterly earnings, so the infrastructure is never replaced or mantained unless the broken lines cut into profits. It's somebody else's heat stroke, not the baord members, so why care?
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Maven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. We have bigger problems than just worn-out infrastructure.
We have an economy that demands growth, growth, and more growth, and the energy to sustain it is dwindling. At an ever faster rate.

And yet people still believe we'll keep this way of life going indefinitely.

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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
11. Last year I had electric bills that were over $700
I changed electric companies and with about the same usage, I have been maintaining about $400-$450.
I KNEW that I was being gouged, but with the deregulation, there was really nothing I could do about it.
Deregulation is killing our country.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. Privatization is absolutely not going to put efficiency and need on the
top of the priority list. You look at two different electric companies, one in Seminole County, and the other in Orange County Florida during the blackouts after the hurricanes, and each made different decisions on who got their electricity first. I think in the end, the one that was publicly owned did a better job of getting all the electricity to all of their consumers.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
13. the national solar project could have produced maybe 70% of the nations
daylight energy on 3 or 4, 10 mile square units across the SW using the new rectangular parabolic mirror vacuum tube technology.. that w* canceled and gave to the corporations to pigeon hole.

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. More of those "inconvenient truths."
:think:
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AGiordino Donating Member (304 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
15. Please check out NPR's Morning Edition for 08/02
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=56...
Unfortunately, we have ouselves to blame for electrical distribution failures.
I don't know what its like in your area, but here in central Texas in my neck of the woods in West Temple, 70% of the new homes built are two-story 3000sf McMansions.
"The rise of McMansions is testing the ability of power grids to provide electricity for cooling during the summer heat. U.S. Census figures show that the interior space of new homes has expanded since 1980 from an average of 1,900 square feet to about 2,500."
My home is 1400sf and was built 12 years ago so increase is substantial when you consider cooling those inceased sft.
Oh well, maybe I'll take Kim Stanley Robinson's example in Fifty Degrees Below and opt out for a tree house and a gym membership. :blush: :hippie:
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Control-Z Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
16. My electric bill was
$790.00 this month through So Cal Edison. Another Duer told me he pays $78.00 every two months a couple towns over on the LADWP grid. I don't think I need to tell you which company is deregulated.
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:44 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. Yep, same in Texas I am told
Don't hold me to this, as I am remembering off the top of my head and am getting old, but I read recently about Austin and San Antonio having *municipal* electric companies and having bills less than half of ours here in the Houston area. Plus a portion of the profits goes to the cities. I will never understand what is objectionable about *not* throwing the necessities of life to the corporations. (OK, OK, I really do. Yes, I know the answer to the question "why don't they" is always "MONEY!")
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ThoughtCriminal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
17. How are things in TVA country?
I haven't heard.
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guruoo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. 7/29 - TVA to cut rates first time since 1988
TVA to cut rates first time since 1988

2006-07-29
by Duncan Mansfield
The Associated Press

KNOXVILLE -- After two rates increases within a year, consumers of Tennessee Valley Authority electricity are going to get a small rate break this fall.

The board overseeing the country's largest public utility on Friday approved a cut in wholesale electric rates worth about $400 million effective Oct. 1.

``It feels good to have a rate decrease,'' TVA Chairman Bill Sansom said. ``We think rates are very important. And we want to be competitive in the Southeast. So when you can do that and make the numbers work, it feels good.''

The federal utility raised rates 7.5 percent last October and 9.95 percent in April to absorb rising costs of fuel and power purchased from other utilities to meet demand.

On Friday, agency directors adopted a 4.5 percent rate decrease as part of a $9.3 billion fiscal 2007 budget. It is TVA's first rate cut since 1988.
<snip>
http://www.thedailytimes.com/sited/story/html/261927
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
21. Republicans want all the reward and none of the risk
that's their version of capitalism
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #21
30. Nail on the head award!
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :kick:
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
22. For the reduction in the electric bill since competition a few brownouts
or blackouts are very acceptable to me.
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lostinacause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:42 PM
Response to Original message
23. Blackouts for the most part have declined. There have been a few major
ones. Much of that has to do with more integrated systems and the failure to isolate problems that have occurred.

The major problem with the economic incentives is that there is little that is done to make consumers more sensitive to price changes. Marginal cost pricing in peek times leads to prices that are really high. Consumers on the other hand pay an equal cost regardless of when the purchase it. The result, through some sort of cost averaging, high costs.

From a production standpoint the incentives do a good job giving indications about the profitability of investment decisions. Most of the areas who implemented such programs did so as the infrastructure was going to need improving. Not only do businesses have to adjust to a new business environment but they collectively have to increase capacity.

As far as the maintenance of the wires go, traditional cost of service regulation, or some equivalent substitution (such as a regulated incentive contract) is used. These firms are separate from the deregulated market and are subjected to a similar amount of regulation as they were before the transition.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
24. Texas deregulated, TXU profits up 33% this year, rates through the roof
TXU polluting like a chain smoker with no end in sight. And fuel is slightly cheaper here than other places.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
26. If you can afford to, and have the space
I would highly recommend that you install either solar panels on the roof, or a wind turbine in your back forty. I realize that it is a hefty up front investment, but it will pay for itself in a minimum of fifteen years, shorter if energy prices keep rising. That way you will be saving money, helping the enviroment, and preventing your house from being hit by ever more rolling blackouts as our electrical infrastructure continues to decline.
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. Any idea where to get info?
We have a large, south-facing roof that I keep thinking would do well with solar panels.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. I imagine that you could Google a lot of information
Also I would recommend that you peruse the back issues of Mother Earth News at your local library, they have a lot of information and companies that advertise in their pages.

What you want to look at is thin film photovoltaics, the latest technology. More efficient and less costly that older methods of solar power, thin film comes in sheets much like shingles and is hell of lot easier to install than the old style of solar.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
29. Perhaps it has to do with record electricity consumption?
That's not exactly compatible with disintegrating infrastructure. You keep the existing infrastructure and put more amps through it, it eventually fries. You keep the existing infrastructure and eventually demand exceeds its output.

Deregulation is certainly part of it. There's little incentive to overbuild: You keep an extra 10% or 20% over past peak usage, and you've tied up money. You have to get permits, build, and maintain those plants and that capacity for a few weeks out of the year.

The options are politically nasty: If you make it more profitable than it already is, people get really upset; if you tell the companies to invest, the shareholders, largely retirement and pension funds, get upset; if the government readily issues permits for plants, somebody else objects.

The permitting business is tricky. Texas currently has no power shortages--we did in the spring when the weather turned hot preternaturally early and plants were down as part of the annual PM cycle. But they've announced plans to build more coal-powered plants to keep ahead of predicted power consumption (natural gas, the wonder-source of the '90s, became expensive in the '00s). Immediately there was an outcry, and legal action threatened to stop it. This ties in with a bit of the *-revised EPA regulations concerning powerplants. If you expanded a current plant or replace part of its facilities at the newer emission levels, you had to replace much of the rest of the older parts of the plant. The perfect was the enemy of the way of the good, in many cases.

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baldguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
32. The Free Market is the best & most efficient way
to distribute a limited resource.

:)


:blush:







:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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