Posted by: doug308 | October 9, 2009

Should We Nationalize Power Gen?

DollarI know that the word “nationalize” raises all sorts of nasty thoughts in the American imagination and is probably closely associated with the word “socialism”. However, there is a precedent of sorts for it insofar as the US government has funded a ton of dams provided hefty subsidies to local power coops for six decades starting in the 1930’s in an effort to bring electricity to everyone in the country who didn’t have it. And to be sure, there is certain amount of federal dollars still going into the industry today on various levels. But would it be so bad if the federal and state governments took more direct control over the construction of power generation facilities. After all if we are to meet the power demands and environmental targets that are rapidly coming up on us a big effort to build expensive, bureaucratically challenging nuclear power plants is going to have to be a big part of the effort. And theoretically at least, the Feds have more of the money and influence to get these projects rolling than most private concerns. Especially at a time when the amount of loan money needed to finance such projects is scarce and few have a machete sharp enough to cut through the truckload of red tape associated with such things.

Okay, so what might some of the advantages of this idea be? As mentioned already the Feds gelderland-rhave a bunch of money and the ability to blow through all sorts of red tape when they want to.  How about land? The Fed owns a lot of real estate and whether you’re putting up a nuke plant, a wind farm, or a solar power station it’s gotta go somewhere. And if the folks putting up the place already own the land that  takes a lot of the expense and upfront hassle out of it. The Feds could also order up the simultaneous construction of several projects at once, which in turn would create tens of thousands of jobs federal and private. 

I know, there’s a down side too. Like the Fed has a tendency to over manage while they overlook. And of course we would be the ones having to foot the bill for this scenario.

But in the end do we really have a choice if we’re going to get this things done in any sort of expeditious time frame? Much of the rest of the industrialized world already follows this example. And in case no one had noticed, a lot of those places are beginning to kick our butts economically as a result. Look, I am not advocating The Socialist States of America here. I am just wondering out loud whether we should get uncle sam to kick start what we all know needs to be done.

Any commnets?


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