Years ago, I would actually listen to lectures by economists on how the electric grid might function better. Pretty much only one thing remains in my head, the conclusion: Regulatory agencies and government-run electrical companies tend to be very inefficient when it comes to capitalizing their enterprises.
Have you nodded off, yet?
Sorry. There’s always been something a bit boring about these discussions. But the subject matter is really worth staying awake for.
Well, experts predict that in as soon as three years, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland – the area where I live – will be enduring rolling brownouts.
It’s not the fault of PJM, the already-regulated electric transmission company servicing the area. It’s the fault of members of Virginia’s State Corporation Commission and Maryland’s Public Service Commission.
Yes, ever more people are moving into the area. But the officials in charge of allowing new electric infrastructure to be set in place are refusing to grant permission to lay down the miles of new high-voltage electric lines the increasing demand requires.
What’s their rationale? Board members say they need more studies. Bureaucrats love studies. Could it be that friends and family and business partners of the board would be amongst those doing the studies?
I bet economists would have a less incendiary explanation. But the upshot is clear. Bureaucracies can be dangerously slow institutions to rest progress upon.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.