Transmission America

March 28, 2014

While Congress and President Obama dither over replenishing the nearly depleted Highway Trust Fund, a more fundamental part of America’s fabric is quietly being strengthened. While derelict bridges garner headlines, it is our fragile power grid that can inconvenience tens of millions of Americans when power goes out in a summer heat wave. The federal government is taking the lead as an Edison Electric Institute report says:

Obama goes long renewable energy

December 1, 2012

President Obama is putting some wind in the sails of the transformation of solar energy to an industrial scale. Lost in the pre-election frenzy in July was this announcement:

America needs a smart grid

June 21, 2012

The latest item atop Congress’s list of stuff to haggle over is the transportation bill, legislation the Washington Post calls the “best bet for passage of a major jobs bill this year.” The threat of the expiration of authority to spend money from the Highway Trust Fund at the end of the month is motivating House and Senate leaders to reach a compromise in the coming days. Although there are certainly investments to be made in our transportation infrastructure that would contribute to America’s economic competitiveness, it’s a shame that our energy infrastructure has received such scant attention from lawmakers.

America’s only economic boom

November 15, 2011

In an April 2008 study, the U.S. Geological Survey increased its estimates of the size of recoverable oil reserves in the Bakken Formation — an area stretching across Montana and North Dakota — by a factor of 25. The press release for the study said:

Planning a 21st century power system

September 2, 2011

Planning a 21st century power system

One of the biggest issues for America’s infrastructure is improving the national grid that moves electricity around the nation. From Wikipedia:

Mapping the energy picture

August 4, 2011

Energy is the lifeblood of our economy. Today the U.S. Department of Energy relaunched their website and published a beautiful set of interactive maps that show various dimensions of our energy production and consumption. Unfortunately, DOE did not make what I think would be the best map which would be a mash-up, by state, of production and consumption. It would be interesting to see which states are net importers and exporters. Calling Secretary Chu!