How to Fix the Grid: Experts Know How to Shore Up Our Rickety Power Supply. the Question Is Whether They'll Ever Get the Chance to Do It

By Stone, Brad | Newsweek, August 25, 2003 | Go to article overview

How to Fix the Grid: Experts Know How to Shore Up Our Rickety Power Supply. the Question Is Whether They'll Ever Get the Chance to Do It


Stone, Brad, Newsweek


Byline: Brad Stone

If the electricity grid is our nation's circulatory system, then America desperately needs a triple bypass. Economic growth and the proliferation of computers and other digital devices have strained power arteries to the max. Meanwhile, utilities and state governments argue futilely over who should fix the problem. Here are a few ideas for emergency surgery.

STOP THE POWER STRUGGLE. Thanks to deregulation of the energy markets over the last 10 years, which allows local utilities to sell electricity anywhere they can find a buyer, electrons produced in Michigan now power microwaves in New York. But the grids are still administered on a state-by-state basis. That's because states don't want to give up control to the Feds--they worry about big towers in their communities and new plants sullying their environment--which stops new transmission lines from being built. State and federal commissions ought to meet jointly to consider upgrades of the grid across state lines. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should step in to mandate the construction of reliable new lines, like the proposed Arrowhead-Weston line between Wisconsin and Minnesota. "If the highway system is planned on a federal level, why shouldn't the Feds also direct expansion of the power grid?" asks Elliot Roseman, a principal at energy firm ICF Consulting.

FORK IT OVER. Even as our economic output doubled between 1975 and today, investment in the grid fell from $5 billion to about $2 billion annually, according to industry association Edison Electric Institute. Why doesn't anyone want to build new lines? Blame what economists call the "tragedy of the commons." In a deregulated world, utilities are allowed to use each other's networks--so nobody wants to pay for an expensive improvement program that would also benefit competitors. Congress should create a Marshall Plan for the grid, funding big upgrades of the system with federal dollars. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

How to Fix the Grid: Experts Know How to Shore Up Our Rickety Power Supply. the Question Is Whether They'll Ever Get the Chance to Do It
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.