I don’t know if everyone who lost power in last week’s storms has had power restored, but many people were cut off from electricity for seven or eight days, at least. David Frum wrote last week,
While you enjoy your air conditioning, you might want to take a minute to consider: Why do Americans tolerate such outages?
Outages are not inevitable. The German power grid has outages at an average rate of 21 minutes per year.
The winds may howl. The trees may fall. But in Germany, the lights stay on.
I’m no expert on how Germany handles its power grid, but from what I could sniff out online the government regulates it all pretty tightly.
Mark Steyn is in Scotland bemoaning America’s dysfunctional utility companies but blaming government, not the companies, for the outages.
America is seizing up before our eyes, and the action necessary to reverse the sclerosis is stymied at every turn by rapacious unions, government micro-regulators, dependency-spreading social engineers, and crony capitalists who know how to weave their way through the bureaucracy.
But I’d be willing to bet that the UK and Germany and most of Europe regulates its energy infrastructure a lot more than the U.S. does. I know that Germany has much bigger and stronger unions. Somehow that never registers in a rightie brain. It also doesn’t register that “free markets” might be the problem, not the solution. Steyn writes,
America’s dysfunctional utility companies have a zillion explanations for this, but years ago I rode through the outskirts of D.C. with a Dutch tourist who marveled at the men digging up the sidewalk in densely populated neighborhoods to bury the new cable-TV wires while the sagging electric lines overhead continued to string their way from pole to pole dodging tree branches across town.
Steyn, genius, explain why Comcast would bother to bury Pepco electric company’s cable? Maybe in The Netherlands the government steps in and regulates that all the cables are buried together, but not here.
Private utility companies say they don’t bury cable because it’s too expensive, btw.
See also the Angry Black Lady.