PEPCO must be controlled by climate change deniers. For the past ten years, as evidence of global climate change began to pile up, PEPCO reduced their workforce of linemen, those who go up the poles and fix the wires, by half. They admitted this in an interview with WUSA TV 9 news, the interview PEPCO walked out on.
TV 9 Video: PEPCO President walks out on TV 9 interview
PEPCO has more customers now than they did ten years ago, and climate change means more and worse storms, yet PEPCO has cut their repair workers jobs. Is it any wonder people get to sit in the heat while all their food rots in the refrigerator?
Until three years ago, we NEVER saw massive, multiday power outages in the DC area except from Hurricane Bel in 1973, Hurricane Isabel in 2003 thirty years later, and a 1999 ice storm. Now we’ve had three summers in a row featuring major power outages, and 2010 had them in the winter too from the blizzards. First the 2010 blizzards turned out the lights for days on end. That same year, 2010 featured incredible heat in mid-July, followed by violent thunderstorms ending in power outages of nearly a week. Sound familiar? The next year came Hurricane Irene, and another round of power outages. Meanwhile PEPCO has gotten a reputation for power failures at random times.
Finally, June 29th’s 104 degree heat spawned the “Dericho” storms. Again, even after three previous rounds of outages, PEPCO’s half sized workforce meant repairs took twice as long until crews could be flown in from places as far away as Canada. Had PEPCO not reduced their workforce, twice as many people would have had their electricity turned back on on June 30 and July 1, before most out-of-area crews arrived.
PEPCO has by their practice of reducing jobs been denying both climate change and regional growth. PEPCO’s continuing to buy half of their electricity from coal fired power plants and part of that from power plants burning mountaintop removal coal is also a form of climate change denial.
It looks like we are in for a perfect storm of trouble, as climate change and budgets cuts hit us at the same time. Local weather is controlled by the jetstream winds, which act like a firehose that has been turned on and dropped. Global climate change at levels that are hard to measure can increase energy in the jetstream, like putting more pressure in that fire hose. The result is more extreme weather of all types, even as utilities rot from budget cuts.
In years to come, electrical power will become unreliable as what used to be ten year storms will become normal weather events. With electrical power becoming unreliable and oil becoming ever more expensive, the Great Recession could well become permanent, thus reducing coal and oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, but maybe too late. Still think we aren’t part of Earth’s natural cycles and stand above them instead? In the end, this is the sort of thing that brings empires and civilizations to their knees! With enough coal and oil consumption, today’s children will literally inherit the wind!