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Jennifer Granholm on Technology

Democratic Governor (MI)

 


We have failed to invest in our physical infrastructure

[In summer 2003 we experienced a 2-day blackout]. As circuit breakers tripped at generating stations from NY to Michigan and into Canada, millions of people were affected. "What's the lesson here?" I asked the chair of Michigan's Public Service Commission, the body that regulated utilities and electricity lines.

"It's pretty simple, actually," the chair told me. "We've failed to invest in the power grid. Now the facilities are old, deregulation has removed responsibility for investment, and the infrastructure has become enormously fragile."

The blackout was symptomatic of deeper, systemic stresses. It involved the failure to maintain and invest intelligently in our human and physical infrastructure. For decades, we'd preferred to pretend that the systems we relied upon to make life worthwhile could be wholly self-correcting and self-supporting. Now those decades of neglect were taking their toll--first in small, chronic failures, then in massive, catastrophic breakdowns.

Source: A Governor's Story, by Jennifer Granholm, p. 40 , Oct 1, 2005

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