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Old 07-02-2018, 07:17 PM
 
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Nice topic lots of interesting issues to address it.


1) Electricity in USA is modeled on a century old central generation and distribution grid. This leads to avoidance of alternate energy sources which could enable less inconvenience to large numbers of people.


"We're probably not going to be in favor of anything that shrinks our business. All investor owned utilities are built on the central -generation model that Edison came up with..." - Ed Legge of the Edison Electric Institute, the lobbying organization for the utility industry (and leader of the national effort to oppose federal renewables targets).

https://www.fastcompany.com/1297936/...-energy-crisis
https://www.renewableenergyworld.com...ts-to-all.html

This is not to say the 'renewables aren't boondoggles also for political marketing (and Wall $treet $peculator purposes) purposes (See Solyndra Solar - Obama etc)


2) Buried infrastructure like water and sanitation systems are not visible so they are not big photo op sells for the politico types (repeat visual reminders for marketing purposes). More visual infrastructure (bridges, roads et al) tends to wait until deferred maintenance makes them a hazard or perhaps the automotive service centers lobby for them (perhaps it's a conspiracy ).

3) Much of the infrastructure of a modern society are used in USA as big payoffs to political contributors (contractors with the ability to bid and buy [politicians!]) or is wasted in the ostensibly expressed need to 'liberate' other poeple in the destroy (armaments profit$) rebuild (construction contracts) cycle overseas to control other countries economies (for Wall $treet $peculators and the military industrial complex 'proving grounds').

Read: Confessions of An Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

4) Feds tend to initiate a build project, but require locals to maintain which leads to great fanfare for the Fed politicos involved but long term residual tax increases for the taxpaying public. Occasioanlly they are just bamboozles from the start like the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere"

Occasional outages as outliers (birds / high winds/ weather / natural disaster) could be lessened to varying degrees but individuals are not encouraged policy wide to do so, and they will likely never be removed.



But you have a good point which is, the overall philosophy toward infrastructure management in the USA is weak since it is generally not something that gets votes (post build out) and people grow accustomed and do not realize maintenance is required at regular intervals based upon structure type and its expected life cycle.

5) Power sources that are mobile and not track able are anathema to CORPGOV as they prefer to: herd, farm, manage, bill, monitor, and track people.


"The power structures only interest is in SELLING energy Ė and only energy that they can run through a meter. They are not in the least interested in anyone getting alternate power Ė except themselves. ... but this is not for the People. Peoples power must be piped or wired to them only through meters." - R. Buckminster Fulller, Critical Path, 1981 excerpt from Chapter 3, which I highly recommend reading to understand the historical context of what has transpired in energy generation overlaid with the economic business environment.

Some groups have started making changes in approach but I'm always wary of the potential corruption (favorable legislation / regulation granting monopoly etc...) pay off issue.

Also keep in mind innovations of logarithmic disruptive scope to current 'revenue generating' processes may not be given full investigation due to the Invention Secrecy Act of 1951.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_Secrecy_Act
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:08 PM
509
 
2,543 posts, read 3,744,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyinCali View Post
.............This is absolutely insane. And before some resident CA haters start saying how it is a CA issue, no it isn't. People across America consistently lose power when it is "windy"..........

Given how dependent we are on electricity, it is quite disconcerting that I could probably use minimal effort to take out the power of a small town.
Well, it isn’t just a California issue, but California is a mess particularly its rural areas. I worked as a Forester throughout California during the early 1970’s. I moved out in the late 1970’s.

After I retired I started revisiting the sites that I worked on to see how things turned out 40 years later. The real surprise was how little California has done to improve its infrastructure over the 40 years. Those roads are still the same, while the population of the state has more than doubled.

There seems little interest in upgrading internet and modern infrastructure. In decent size small towns the high speed internet was 1Mbps!! Everybody went to McDonald’s when they needed to download files.

I understand that infrastructure is a hit or miss proposition. I live in a small metro area in eastern Washington. The county provides the electricity, internet services, cable tv, and phone service to county residents. In the 37 years I have lived here, the power has gone out twice. The internet once and I get 1Gbps service.

The locally owned infrastructure is in great shape. The state highways running through town are a mess. Granted with Washington state growing so fast the highway funding has been shifted to Seattle for their mega-projects and we just have to wait for those to be completed.

Out west, with the exception of California, the infrastructure is in pretty good shape. Roads are generally pretty good. Electricity infrastructure is in good shape in most areas. Fiber and other modern communication infrastructure varies dramatically from area to area. In rural Oregon, you can go from a county with a county-wide wi-if system to nothing the next county over.

I remember California when the roads were all excellent. The traffic not that much greater than rural Washington, outside the urban commute routes. The electricity was reliable and CHEAP.

I think the issue with infrastructure that no one talks about is population growth. California had a great infrastructure for a 15 million population. Basically it still has the same infrastructure with 37 million people.

California ran out of cheap hydro power in the 1970’s and had to go to expensive fossil fuel generating plants (almost all located outside of California).

Due to population growth EVERYTHING related to infrastructure is much, much more expensive these days in urban areas.

BUT, the good news is that at least we are not in Russia. The infrastructure there under the Soviets was so bad that the only alternative is to tear it down and rebuild it. THAT is expensive.

Your second comment seems to imply that infrastructure is a Federal responsibility. Most infrastructure is a local responsibility, the state comes in second, then the Feds. The problem is with all three levels of government. We really need to split the focus, depending on the problem and issue.

National defense however, is entirely a Federal responsibility.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:58 PM
 
635 posts, read 400,407 times
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I agree, every time I go to Europe and see how nice their roads are, and how pervasive (and usually nice) their trains are, I think how my priorities and those of most Americans apparently donít mesh. Also, in the US infrastructure seemingly isnít so much for the common good as much as it is a means to make a select few rich.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,376 posts, read 2,424,586 times
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We never lost power when hurricane Irma went through. Perhaps your power company/grid operator is squeezing the $$ too much.
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:41 PM
 
24,696 posts, read 26,777,106 times
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I don't disagree that our infrastructure is a joke. The problem, once again, is bureaucracy, corruption, and ineptitude. Some people think just throwing more money at infrastructure projects will make it all better, but because of the above triple whammy, it doesn't. If we could get people focused on fighting the right enemies instead of each other, maybe we'd make some progress.

I think a lot of the same principles can be applied to other things as well, especially health care. On a per capita basis, we spend enough money on Medicare/Medicaid that it should be enough for universal or near universal coverage with only minimal additional out of pocket spending.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 07-02-2018 at 09:51 PM..
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:55 PM
 
Location: SoCal
1,736 posts, read 1,788,674 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
I don't disagree that our infrastructure is a joke. The problem, once again, is bureaucracy, corruption, and ineptitude. Some people think just throwing more money at infrastructure projects will make it all better, but because of the above triple whammy, it doesn't. If we could get people focused on fighting the right enemies instead of each other, maybe we'd make some progress.

I think a lot of the same principles can be applied to other things as well, especially health care. On a per capita basis, we spend enough money on Medicare/Medicaid that it should be enough for universal or near universal coverage with only minimal additional out of pocket spending.
Although, I agree with almost everything you said. When it comes to infrastructure somewhere down the line money will be needed, and a lot of it. We can't even start thinking about infrastructure if we don't' have access to some sort of capital.
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Old 07-02-2018, 10:02 PM
 
24,696 posts, read 26,777,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean1the1 View Post
Although, I agree with almost everything you said. When it comes to infrastructure somewhere down the line money will be needed, and a lot of it. We can't even start thinking about infrastructure if we don't' have access to some sort of capital.
The way you free up money is to find ways to get rid of the corruption and ineptitude. The devil is in the details and beyond what I would know. We simply cannot afford to throw more money at infrastructure projects that aren't done in a financially efficient way. We don't have it.
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Old 07-03-2018, 04:23 AM
 
290 posts, read 69,425 times
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Amazing we still have telephone poles and electricity dependent on a tree branch not snapping a wire. Bury all that underground.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:31 AM
 
1,063 posts, read 322,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry88 View Post
Amazing we still have telephone poles and electricity dependent on a tree branch not snapping a wire. Bury all that underground.
Supposedly it's because of flooding. It is easier and quicker for them to repair a fallen pole above ground than dig up the earth and replace eroded wire.
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Old 07-03-2018, 05:47 AM
 
11,693 posts, read 16,437,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry88 View Post
Amazing we still have telephone poles and electricity dependent on a tree branch not snapping a wire. Bury all that underground.
At one house we had the feeder put underground about 250 feet. A small fortune. A year later and a new driveway later an electrical problem was fixed. Another small fortune.
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