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:
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.
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!