Archive for July 5th, 2012

Politics, Power Companies & Killer D.C./Greater Area Storms

posted by Sarah N Worthy IATTWJ Member @ 17:01 PM
July 5, 2012

    How’s this for national safety:  Up to 26 now dead from Mid-Atlantic storm; 1.8 million in mid-Atlantic still without power as of Tuesday night; emergency phones didn’t work, etc.  How could those in charge of safety around the nation’s capitol be so woefully ill-prepared for even these relatively minor disasters.

Moreover, how have massive lobby payments protected power companies from responsible regulation?  And how did politicians and regulators––who are suppose to protect the American people––let this happen?

To quote the editorial pages of the Washington Post this week:  “In Northern Virginia, where Verizon handles most 911 calls, emergency phone service simply did not exist for much of the weekend, . . .  Suburban Maryland’s main power provider, Pepco, once again scrambled to restore electricity to hundreds of thousands of customers who have come almost to expect wildly inconvenient outages in extreme temperatures.”

Kasey Jones of the Associated Press reports:  “More than 146,000 Virginia homes and businesses remained without power after, down from a peak of about 1.2 million after the storms.  In New Jersey, Atlantic City Electric said nearly 30,000 homes and businesses were still without service. . . down from 206,000.”

Pepco customers have nothing but disdain for that company which spends multi-millions of dollars on TV and print advertisement about their readiness.  And they spend even more lobbying Congress to resist regulation of their industry.  A major problem for Pepco is the traveling sophistication of its customer base:

“I have a lot of people in my district who’ve lived all over the world, and they’ve never seen such unreliable service,”  Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) told Marc Fisher of the Washington Post. “People joke about Pepco being the Pakistan Electric Power Company. I’m just so tired of Pepco’s PR. It’s time for performance, not PR.”

So much public pressure has come down on the poorly operated system that even utility regulators are sharing in the blame.  Douglas Nazarian, chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission says, “We, as a commission, can fairly be criticized.  We didn’t pick up early enough on the need for comprehensive reliability regulations. . . . You can call us on that one.”

Come on boys, you have to do better than putting company logos on plus size Christian t-shirts.  Your area of responsibility includes the White House, the Capitol buildings, the Pentagon, etc.  As The LORD Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other (Luke 16: 13).”  So just who do utility companies and regulators serve, the public or stock holders?  Tomorrow, more on the millions spent on lobbying instead of on underground wiring and better customer service.

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