There are over 450 municipal utilities and 600 cooperative utilities in the US. These utilities are private, for-profit companies that are heavily regulated and part of the public infrastructure.
The massive fire that destroyed over 1300 homes in California in 2021 had already pleaded guilty to 85 charges, including manslaughter, for starting a fire in 2020. What is P&G doing to upgrade their power lines so this doesn’t happen again?
The fire tragedy in Hawaii appears to have been started by the same problem. Hawaii Electric, which serves 95% of the state, “chose not to de-energize their power lines,” which ignited the fire.
In 1996, California and Rhode Island gave consumers the right to choose their electrical suppliers. By 2001, twenty-four more states jumped on. Over time, those companies became monopolies. Although heavily regulated, the choices two of them made appear to have left destruction in the communities they service.
The grids throughout our country were built for a different era. Since the Reagan administration, cutting back on taxes and not putting capital into our infrastructure has been the mantra. Fast forward a few decades, the cost of rebuilding and human lives is higher than maintaining and building to the future.
If you owned a house for thirty years and did no maintenance, would you be surprised when the roof imploded? We can only vote out the people who do not care about moving us forward as a country.
Too many companies that service people, including healthcare, have made decisions for profit, bowing to the stock prices vs. the people they serve. The Government is not an organization I would rely on to manage these large organizations, but we have all suffered from decisions made at the top of these companies.
I’m not sure what the answer is. Still, our healthcare system is a mess overwrought with costs and layers of bureaucracy, and the companies providing electricity are relying on power lines that should have been buried underground long ago.
No wonder we all find ourselves frustrated and angry at our political system.