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Do you think the blackout

Steve Ebels
Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904
Make any difference in the short or long term energy policy of the U.S.? In my mind it has to be making people sit up and take note of how stressed our generating capacity is and the infrastructure that supports our power transmission.

Also, We changed out an old boiler this week and did not wear the appropriate shielding device (tin foil hats) while doing so. Do you think this in any way caused or precipitated the blackout. If so, you have my humble apologies for causing 50 million people to lose power.

Also, Also and PS. Anyone making any wagers on above normal birthrate in mid April 2004? Could it be the whole thing was a government engineered population enhancement program?


  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    I think...

    that it show how vulnerable our power generation/distribution system really is. One small system goes down causing a domino effect that throws a WHOLE bunch of people into the dark ages.

    I think it's time for a comprehensive energy management/conservation program. We have LOTS of power, if we'd just use it wisely.

    When it all boils down, it was probably caused by a PC being bombed off line by that new techno virus while some power plant operator was checking out a porno site while he was at work. BLINK, click, click, click, click, click....Total darkness.

    Think conservation.

  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    Gotta' have

    that A/C!!!

    Good question Steve. I was replacing an AC unit that was 1960's vintage when the power went out. As I made my way home through the snarled traffic I thought about a few things.

    Nearly EVERY home built today has AC. It has become a "neccessity" and is standard equipment in most new homes.

    So we have "contractor grade" cooling equipment plugging into a grid that hasn't been upgraded since it first went on line.

    So what should the US energy policy be? Did the current energy policy cause the blackouts?

    Or is it possible that ENVIRONMENTAL policy caused them?

    I'd like to see what the others have to say.

    Mark H

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  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246

    Not sure about the birth rate. Some say it was too dang hot to think about canoodling. Now the divorce rate...
  • Eric Taylor_3
    Eric Taylor_3 Member Posts: 27
    It will get worse

    We don't have enough spinning reserves these days so when a power plant trips off due to ANY reason the remaining generators can't take up the slack without overloading so they trip too. Its like having just enough guys pushing a car up a hill. If one quits the rest either quit also or get run over because they simply can't do the job without that last guy.

    Electrical demand is growing faster than the supply. If something isn't done soon these blackouts will become commonplace.

    Another problem is that all of the old timers who built the grid and know how to operate it are retiring. The kids that get hired to replace them just don't have the tools to do the job.

    Get yourself a backup generator for your home.

  • Steve Ebels
    Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904

    Never heard that term. You better e-mail me and explain. I may be missing something here. (g)
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Heard a strange theory on the radio...

    ...blackout caused by excessive demand from school (and their air conditioners) starting early!

    Problem "caused" by environmentalism? It certainly does seem partly to blame. States and the citizenry share MUCH of the blame however.

    The FIRST and MOST environmentally friendly method of large-scale electric generation, hydroelectric, isn't even allowed because of the effect on wildlife. MUCH more power could be provided to the energy-starved west coast from Grand Coulee (sp? maybe even wrong name--the one in Washington State) but wildlife concerns block any greater use.

    Despite what really is a surprisingly good safety record (considering the interent danger) of nuclear power world-wide, no new nuclear plants have been allowed since 3-Mile Island and even those under construction at the time were never completed.

    The state of Nevada seems VERY happy to have billions of dollars pouring in to the long-term waste storage facility at Yucca Mountain, but whenever talk is made of actually using it, that state and environmentalists alike keep claiming it is not adequate and billions more must be spent!

    Consumer polls continually "say" that people are willing to pay somewhat more for energy from non-traditional sources. BUT when such actually occurs the utility companies seem to want to use such only to enhance their profits--they demand enormous subsidies from ALL levels of government to keep the generation price at/blow that from traditional means and just "pocket" the increased rates as a nice little windfall profit. (Note the use of "wind" in windfall!)

    Conservation measures mandated during the 70s actually seem to have resulted in greater efficiency in the use of fuel. BUT, even with increased efficiency our demand continued to rise. We went to war to prevent Iraq from controlling the oil in Kuwait--thus ensuring really cheap oil (out of gratitude--or is it "payback") for a while....

    We started drinking bottled water in MUCH greater quantities. We found gasoline cheaper!

    Instead of cars, many now drive SUVs. Homes grew GREATLY in size and became even farther away from points of employment. Despite greater efficiency in both, demand exploded.

    The Pacific Northwest and Tennessee Valley both had INCREDIBLE hydroelectric projects. While the government "said" it was mainly to provide electric power and/or irrigation to sparsely populated and poor sections of the country (especially the TVA) the "real" purpose was for the defense industry. Aluminum for aircraft in the NW, energy for making plutonium in the Tennessee Valley.

    While I believe our production of plutonium and military aircraft has decreased greatly since we "won" the cold war, demand had increased so greatly that even the excess capacity in these areas was insufficient. Both of those areas (and probably others as well) STILL enjoy electricity at artificially low rates. States benefiting WON'T GIVE IT UP!!!

    Various levels of government regulation exist regarding the energy industry. When fully regulated the companies insist they cannot make sufficient profit to add capacity. When deregulated they only want to delivery energy to the most profitable markets--even CREATING regional shortages to enhance their money for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

    The crazy mix of public and private utilities and various levels of government subsidies results in GIANT disparities
    in the price of energy--even between adjacent towns/counties where the "source" of the energy is identical!

  • Jerry Boulanger_2
    Jerry Boulanger_2 Member Posts: 111
    If there's a blackout every week

    for a couple of months we may see some action. Remember that this is not the first time it's happened.

    Is it the fault of our respective (Canadian and U.S.) governments? Maybe, but remember that in a democratic society, people get the government they deserve.
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