Billions of dollars needed to fix aging, vulnerable U.S. energy infrastructure, reports says

Ernest MonizErnest MonizU.S. power and energy infrastructure is outdated and perhaps more vulnerable than ever to the effects of climate change or other threats, and will require tens of billions of dollars in repairs and modernization, according to a landmark Obama administration report.

The first installment of the Energy Department’s Quadrennial Energy Review, commissioned by President Obama 15 months ago, paints a grim picture for the U.S. electric grid, power transmission lines, natural gas and oil pipelines, ports, railways and other critical pieces of national infrastructure.

The report found that threats to the grid, including terrorist attacks or unprecedented storms caused by climate change, are growing in number while the reliability and safety of the grid has remained stagnant or, in some cases, gone backward.

Much the same for oil-and-gas infrastructure, the study shows.

“These infrastructures have not kept pace with changes in the volume and geography of oil and gas production. The nation’s ports, waterways and rail systems are congested, with the growing demand for handling energy commodities increasingly in competition with transport needs for food and other non-energy freight,” the report reads in part. “Although improvements are being made, much of the relevant infrastructure — pipelines, rail systems, ports and waterways alike — is long overdue for repairs and modernization.”

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and other administration officials will discuss the report during a speech in Philadelphia later Tuesday. They’ll also detail the White House plan for tackling today’s infrastructure challenges.

To complement the report, the administration announced the formation of the Partnership for Energy Sector Climate Resilience, which will bring leading energy companies together with the Energy Department to develop plans for protecting infrastructure against extreme weather and other effects of climate change.

The Agriculture Department also announced it will provide $72 million to support six new rural electric infrastructure projects, including repairs to outdated transmission lines.

The report also recommends dozens of other infrastructure projects that must be tackled soon, including a $2.5 billion Energy Department initiative to improve natural-gas distribution; a $3.5 billion plan to modernize the U.S. electric grid; at least $ 1.5 billion to improve and extend the life of the crucial Strategic Petroleum Reserve; a $2 billion investment in regional transport systems; and many others.

As Mr. Obama rolls out controversial programs to stem the tide of climate change, the report argues that global warming represents one of the gravest threats to the U.S. energy transmission, storage and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure.

“By far the most important environmental factor affecting TS&D infrastructure needs now and going forward is global climate change,” the study says. “Sea-level rise, thawing permafrost and increases in weather extremes are already affecting TS&D infrastructure in many regions. The need to mitigate global climate change by reducing (greenhouse-gas) emissions, moreover, is accelerating changes in the mix of energy supply options and end-use patterns and over time, it is likely to become the dominant such influence.”

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  • Avatar

    Gator

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    [quote]plans for protecting infrastructure against extreme weather and other effects of climate change.[/quote]

    I would agree, if they were discussing protections against a colder climate, or burying power lines, instead of stringing them from poles like we have since the 19th century.

    [img]https://t2.ftcdn.net/jpg/00/49/17/53/400_F_49175301_4iTtSnLlFpEOJRgu1za0fQpr8ETzd04X.jpg[/img]

    There is a new city about 50 miles from me that never loses power in wind or ice storms, because all of their power lines are buried. Every other town within hundres of miles can have massive outages, and they keep their lights on.

    We also need to harden our grid against an EMP attack.

    [i]A natural EMP catastrophe or nuclear EMP attack could blackout the national electric grid for months or years and collapse all the other critical infrastructures — communications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water — necessary to sustain modern society and the lives of 310 million Americans,” Pry this week told the House Committee on Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies.[/i]

    http://www.hstoday.us/briefings/daily-news-analysis/single-article/emp-attack-on-us-would-be-catastrophic-congress-told/1b5e33a26545ac5ebf9398f00064dc0a.html

    While I disagree that a natural EMP would be so costly (they are not as powerful once they reach Earth), we should be taking threats from abroad seriously.

    [i]Suspected for years of plotting to dismantle the U.S. electric grid, American officials have confirmed that Iranian military brass have endorsed a nuclear electromagnetic pulse explosion that would attack the country’s power system.

    American defense experts made the discovery while translating a secret Iranian military handbook, raising new concerns about Tehran’s recent nuclear talks with the administration.[/i]

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/iran-endorses-nuclear-emp-attack-on-united-states/article/2561733

    How much you ask?

    [i]Government Spends Tens of Trillions On Unnecessary, Harmful Projects … But Won’t Spend $100 Million to Prevent the Greatest Threat[/i]

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/preventing-armageddon-would-cost-only-100-million-but-congress-is-too-thick-to-approve-the-fix.html

    America alone spends $24 billion per year on the Climate Change Industry, or [b]240 times[/b] what it would cost to harden our grid.

    Or look at it this way, what we spend on the Climate Change Industry in [b]two days[/b], would be enough to protect hundreds of millions of lives against a real threat.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Captain Dave

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    You would think a nuclear physicist would know better. To claim unprecendented storms caused by climate change are a threat when they haven’t happened yet is a sign of a cultist..

    Reply

  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    I agree with Gator. We dither and stew about how to pay for for renewed infrastructure as we dump TRILLIONS into the climate change fraud machine.

    We finally have the means to be energy [b]independent[/b] and secure (a dream-come-true) via fracking and pipelines but Obama says “no”.

    In nearby Milwaukee the liberal mayor and his dysfunctional city council have approved nearly $70 million for a 2.5 mile downtown streetcar trolley project but can’t find [i]any[/i] money to repair potholes or rehire 200 furloughed police officers as the streets crumble and the city’s crime rate skyrockets…

    Madness.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Just Some Kid

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      You’d ignore his reason for the pipeline, but maybe you’d think twice about fracking if it was your water supply that gets poisoned.

      Good luck getting Congress to do anything with the budget.

      How public money is spent is not the decision of one.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Gator

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        Why can you not answer simple questions about “settled science”?

        “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”
        -Carl Sagan

        Back your claims child.

        Reply

        • Avatar

          Just Some Kid

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          I was not asked a question.

          I made no claims in that post. nothing to back up.

          Go get some sleep. you seem really out of it today.(claim) you accuse me repeatedly of not providing science, but my posts are neither claims, nor do that have much to do with science (support for claim). It would help to read my posts before letting your negative emotions run wild.

          Reply

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            We have asked you for science for days now, and insteadd of answering rationally, you have trolled other threads and thrown emotional bombs.

            Science please.

          • Avatar

            Just Some Kid

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            It takes one to know one. Yes, I am a troll. I’d have to be to come to this site in the first place. Do you know how I know we are both trolls? Neither of us have broken our computer monitors after our many exchanges. More telling are our fallacy-laden retorts. Let’s stop deluding ourselves now please.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            Sorry, but you are wrong again…

            [i]In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion[/i].

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

            We have trid to keep you on topic, but you just throw verbal bombs and avoid following the thread.

            Science please.

          • Avatar

            Just Some Kid

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            Science Please. (I think i’ll copy you)

            Not wrong at all my friend. We are one and the same in that regard. Don’t worry, you’ll come to terms with it eventually. Take your time.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            I do not need to prove nature, it is the set precedent, and the burden of proof lies with you.

            Science please troll.

          • Avatar

            Just Some Kid

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            Science Please Troll.

            Appeal to ignorance, and shift of burden of proof.

            Some fallacies I’ll overlook (they are a forgone conclusion) but not those.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            You still have not justified the sacrifice of 21,000 human beings per day.

            Science please, troll.

            [i]In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[/i]

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll

          • Avatar

            Just Some Kid

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            red herring. ’nuff said.

            don’t repost that in another comment section. once is enough.

          • Avatar

            Gator

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            Once again you show your sickness. You do not care one bit for the 21,000 who died today, needlessly.

            Thanks for repeatedly proving me right about your selfish agenda that is not backed by science, and that you are mentally ill.

            Your willingness to allow the suffering of others is illuminating to those who read these comments, and further damgaes the multi trillion dollar Climate Change Industry’s reputation and credibility.

  • Avatar

    ComplyDontDie

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    Landmark? Hardly. This is nothing new, just a rehash of the memo to the White House, published in Omni January 1989, Rules of the Game, By G. Gordon Liddy, pointing out the vulnerabilities of our infrastructure, where small groups of terrorists would hit our power plants, rail lines, airports, and natural gas pipelines, crippling America for months. The new spin simply incorporates renewable energy.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    Funny how the Kid and other libs are far more worried about imagined dangers than those that confront us for real right now.

    It’s hard to make people hand over their wallets and their freedoms if you have to [i]prove[/i] that you have a problem AND if you have to [i]prove[/i] that you can fix it.

    This further demonstrates that this has [i]never[/i] been about the environment. It’s only about seizing power and controlling freedom.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Just Some Kid

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      Oh woe is he who has lost faith in the humanity of those who oppose him!

      You sound like you watch Fox News. Try to remember that not everyone is your political opponent. Most people would rather you leave politics out of it when possible.

      There’s a reason there’s a crazy conservative stereotype.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        GR82DRV

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        [quote name=”Just Some Kid”]Oh woe is he who has lost faith in the humanity of those who oppose him!

        You sound like you watch Fox News. Try to remember that not everyone is your political opponent. Most people would rather you leave politics out of it when possible.

        There’s a reason there’s a crazy conservative stereotype.[/quote]

        Why thank you Kid! I almost forgot people like Al Gore and others have no interest in [b]politics[/b] whatsoever! This is all about science… “settled science” to be exact.

        And all the “solutions” like dismantling free market economies, shifting to Marxist power structures and the like are purely scientific as well.

        Thanks for bringing a crazy person to his senses!

        Reply

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