The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (6 comments)

  1. MacDaddyWatch

    Of course bury the power lines. Many places will be out of power for weeks, maybe even months.

    The next time we decide to plss away $800 billion via a “stimulus” program, lets consider doing something that will create jobs and add prolonged value to our standard of living.

    Transfer payments (as much as 75% of the failed stimulus program) add ZERO value–there is no bang for the buck.

  2. Overall it’s still worth it. If the government stuck to what it’s supposed to spend money on, these costs wouldn’t be so onerous. As it is, only a fraction is spent on projects that benefit anyone.

  3. chuck martel

    The power companies should be in no hurry to repair distribution when every other move they make is greeted with bad publicity and legal action. They should take their time restoring power, especially in neighborhoods with concentrations of NIMBYs.

  4. “Many places will be out of power for weeks, maybe even months.” That will be true if you have to bury. Above ground lines are much faster and easier (and yes, lower cost). Electric utilities pass on those costs to the consumer, so its not a good benefit for the consumer. Yes, there are occasional outages, but digital control systems makes it much easier to re-route power now than it used to. And its a no brainer to figure out what goes wrong when an aboveground line goes out. Not so for underground (which, despite the belief of some here, have reliability that isn’t much better than above ground lines…)

    So, if you want the system up fast – put up poles, and enough of this nonsense.

  5. Big Truck Joe

    You gotta remember- this is a storm of the century. So should we make irrational decisions for something that comes along once in a hundred years? I’m just sayin…

  6. Max Planck

    The article is true, given the cost of burying existing wires. It may not be worth it. What I don’t understand, (having gotten my power on last night) is how come Google can find me on my cell phone, but linesmen have to painstakingly repair each wire they see visibly, pole by pole?

    However, anytime you see new residential construction, the wires are buried.

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