The Grid’s “Not My Problem”, Uh, Until It Is

“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.”

– Nikola Tesla

Addison WigginDear Reader,

“One of the big issues is that utilities would rather think about warming your pizza oven most of the time,” explains my confidant this week, David Tice, discussing his new documentary, Grid Down, Power Up, “rather than worry about what the North Korean leader might do. They feel like that should be a problem addressed by Homeland Security or by the Defense Department.”

The power grid is crazy ripe for blackouts, cyber attacks, EMPs, even terrorist attacks. The current grid consists of “bailing wire, chewing gum, and rubber bands that have kind of kept it together,” scoffs David. Even some duct tape.

David hopes the film will spawn a movement to get individuals to take action. That’s the “Power Up” portion of his documentary title. Power to the people.

We’ve been aware of our crumbling power grid for many years. As we mentioned yesterday, Doug Hill and I interviewed Ted Kopple at his house about his dystopian book, Lights Out in 2016.

The central problem appears to be misaligned incentives at all levels.

Start with this. There’s not one central grid across the U.S. There are three separate grids. Eastern, Western and Texas. Don’t call it Central – it’s Texas.

‘So there’s a little bit of pointing different ways as far as, “not my problem.” contends Davd, “and putting money into this grid for something that doesn’t actually create more capacity, it actually makes it subject to more ratemaking.”

David explains:

So, FERC, which is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission actually has underneath them NERC, which is the North American Electric Reliability Council. So NERC is actually the body that provides regulations for these electric utilities. The problem is NERC has 12 trustees. Nine of those trustees are essentially coming directly from the utility industry. There needs to be better regulation and we have a line in the film where we say, “Because of this inept regulation in a lot of areas, it’s somewhat been in the fox guarding the hen house.”

Making these kinds of documentaries is a thankless task. (Ahem, IOUSA) But David is confident that it will jar folks into action. But who knows how long it will take for a sizable movement to incentivise the utilities and their regulators to take action.

Click here to learn more

You can watch our discussion about Grid Down, Power Up here.

“I listened to the program today,” writes our reader Marc, “and it brought up info that has been in the news and on minds for many years.” Marc continues: 

What it didn’t mention was what individuals could be doing to harden their own defenses. We all know to get governments involved in anything is to have a non-workable system. Like the last “infrastructure bill”. Hundreds of billions of dollars wasted on everything except infrastructure. 

I live in a cold climate. After we bought our house 46 years ago, I thought, if the electricity goes off, how to keep warm ( forced air heat). I got a 40,000 btu natural gas heater at a garage sale for $1.00. Vented, flexible gas hose and shutoff valve hooked up then stored in the basement. Never had to use it, but ready if needed. The new owner may get to use it.

Bought a 1500 watt, 12 volt inverter ($150) to run off my truck to power the refrigerator, boiler controls or whatever in an emergency. Now many of the EVs have power taps built in for that if you own one of them. Or a small generator and fuel.

Have oil lamps and candles for light. A camping water filter for drinkable water from creek, puddle or rain water.

This country was built on a fierce independence. Not having to rely on crumbs from others. Solving problems before they happen so you keep your head while others panic because you are prepared and have already gone through the panic, in your mind. Be prepared for what is likely to happen.

Follow your bliss,

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin
Founder, The Wiggin Sessions

P.S. Stay tuned. Next week we’ll do a deep dive into the “deep state” Leviathan, (a.k.a. the long evolution of administrative state) with Jeffrey Tucker, best-selling libertarian author and founder of the Brownstone Institute.


Leviathan… only gets bigger.

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin is founder and executive publisher of Agora Financial LLC, an independent economic forecasting and financial research firm. He and Bill Bonner began writing the firm’s flagship Daily Reckoning in the midst of the tech boom and bust. It was one of the first widely distributed email newsletters on the Internet. The publication’s critical eye on finance and economics continues today. He’s also creator and editorial director of Agora Financial’s daily missive The 5 Min. Forecast.

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