The Present Difficulties

There was a pretty big storm on the East Coast two weeks ago.  you may have heard of it.  As a result of the storm, there were several storm related things that happened that will make the lives of ordinary people hard:  damaged homes, fuel shortages, electrical service failures.

1.  The federal government, hearing the cry of its people (those in NY and NJ who vote overwhelmingly in favor of the Federal leviathan) was moved and send in truckloads of gasoline.  12 million gallons of gasoline to be exact.    The people were saved. Huzzah.  But what they didn’t tell you is that the US government doesn’t just have 12 million gallons of gasoline sitting around waiting to be used like this.  The US government, through the Defense Logistics Agency, let a contract to buy that fuel and have it delivered.  Who sold them the gasoline and delivered it?  SUNOCO.  The same oil company that is being blamed for shortages. 

2.  The federal government doesn’t have any gasoline refineries.  Oil companies do.  The US Gov doesn’t have fleets of fuel trucks (other than a few in the Armed forces) and thousands of truck drivers with current HAZMAT certifications.  The oil companies do.  Those would be the same oil companies that democrats like to point out are evil greedy capitalists.

3.  The state governments and federal government also promised to restore power.  Again.  The government doesn’t have any power linemen or utility trucks.  They don’t have stockpiles of utility poles or transformers.  Utility companies do.  The same utility companies that the EPA is trying to drive out of business with new CO2 regulations.  Out of service because of a Super storm?  Heads will roll.  Out of service because of deliberate government policy?  Sucks to be you.

4.  When the path of the storm was uncertain, I recall the Maryland governor declaring that he was already kicking PEPCO (the main Maryland electric company) “in the ass” to make sure that outages would be taken care of quickly.  The Governor of the State of Maryland has absolutely no authority over PEPCO or how they do business.  The electric companies will always to things the same way without regard to how many politicians tell them how to do their jobs. 

5.  I heard one story about a man being declared a hero.  He saved his children from drowning and carried them to higher ground.  He should have had rotten fruit thrown at him whenever he is seen in public since if he had heeded evacuation warnings, his children would not have needed to risk death.

6.  Never letting a good crisis go to waste.  many of the homes that were inundated will have to have all new wiring.  but the house cannot be hooked back up to the grid until a government inspector certifies the installation.  There aren’t enough of them to go around because they only hire enough to inspect a few new buildings and renovations each year.  Nor will they accept outside help.    Now will they sign off unless a licensed electrician did the work.  That is a holder of a local licence.  Nor will they permit outside help.  This is a rice bowl issue.  The unions and local gov bureaucrats will make sure they can squeeze every dime out of this tragedy.

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About Professor Hale

Currently living in Virginia
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2 Responses to The Present Difficulties

  1. Jim says:

    I forget which oil company this was but their profits last quarter or last year (not sure) were 9 billion. Their taxes paid, 24 billion.

  2. Carnivore says:

    I’m not up on all the regulations as they apply to American power companies vs. the heavily regulated and taxed German equivalent. However, when my (West) German relatives came to visit the first time in the early 80’s, they were amazed by the clothes-line look of my backyard with the pole and power, telephone and cable lines to my home and adjacent homes. They couldn’t believe how 100 year old neighborhoods in Chicago all had lines above ground.

    I asked them how it works in Germany. They replied that immediately after the war, due to the need to rebuild quickly, all the lines were strung on poles. In the 60’s and 70’s, there was a gradual process of putting all the lines underground (except for the very high voltage stuff). I did indeed verify when I finally went over that it was very rare to see lines strung to homes. Of course, East Germany was a different story.

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