:: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 ::

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out?


Perspective's New York correspondent writes:

My blisters, acquired walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn Thursday, have healed enough for me to be able to calmly read the post-mortems on the event.

As you may know, it appears the blackout was a product of deregulation. In the wild west market for energy it paid to increase generating capacity but not to maintain much less improve the transmission grid.

Today Bush officials are quoted as saying that the solution is to open the transmission grid to the market! Logical, by their standards.

This event was predicted by engineers and even utility industry insiders, and proposals to overhaul the grid technically were ignored. What's more, even aside from deregulation, the crazy-quilt regulatory system -- involving local, state and federal agencies, local, national and international companies -- leaves no-one clearly in charge.

All of which is an argument for a rationally-planned system, of course!

A couple international notes: Greg Palast points out how the IMF et al. have forced Third World countries to sell off their energy sectors to US and other investors, meaning it's more likely than ever that they'll suffer the same fiascos while getting cheated financially. Iraqis have had a good yuk at all this, being quoted as saying things like "you expect us to trust the US to rebuild OUR electrical system?!"

:: Alister | 10:31 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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