Archive for July 6th, 2012


Politics, Power Companies & Killer Storms, Part 2

posted by Sarah N Worthy IATTWJ Member @ 14:22 PM
July 6, 2012

     Let me be among the first to say it:  This country can no longer afford to allow utility services to be profit-making businesses.  In this, the richest country on earth, 24 people have died, and thousands more suffer with no electrical power in 100+ degree heat, while instead of hurriedly fixing downed power lines, utility companies primarily worry about profit margins on financial bottom lines!

In addition to those killed during this outage, there are sick and elderly needing relief?  And how long are nursing homes, hospitals and cooling centers suppose to survive on temporary generators?  Enough already!

While they have laid off workers, avoided updating equipment, and used under-experienced and under-manned teams to repair power outages, America’s utility companies have had plenty of money to lobby federal and state governments to lift regulations––allowing them to make all the more money.

According to OpenSecrets.org, in the last decade, power companies have made at least $ 127 million ‘known’ political contributions at the federal level, and another $ 222 million to politicians at the state level.  And paying $ 191 million to hire 900 different lobbyists in 2010 alone, they spend vastly more on lobbying.

In “Power Outages Around Washington Preceded By Power Plays,” Dan Froomkin writes:  “Major electric utilities have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the last two decades on campaign contributions and lobbying as part of a hugely successful push to free their industry from federal and state regulations and ostensibly embrace competition.

“Rather than a reduction in prices, the result has been that utilities’ community obligations have been superseded by the need to drive up short-term profits, while enriching top executives and big shareholders has been prioritized over reinvesting profits in improved facilities.”

To make up for their own under-staffed employee roster, utility companies simply rely on one another to ‘borrow’ crews when needed.  Thus, according to Evan Vucci of Associated Press, in this last debacle in the mid-Atlantic, “utility companies have had to wait days for extra crews traveling from as far away as Quebec and Oklahoma.”

But what happens when Global Warming brings power outages to Quebec, Oklahoma and everywhere else at the same time?  How long will power in the essential heart of our country be out then?  This system must be federalized!

Such neglect is usually deemed criminal negligence.  But among utility companies, their lobbyists and political payees, it is just business as usual.  As wholesale Christian Bibles state: “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment (1 Timothy 5: 24).”  Let us pray that in the case of power company executives, their sins are exposed sooner, rather than later!

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