Yeah. Americans need to take a good look. This is the United States in a few years if the power companies have their way. Want to know why they're so heavily behind forced conservation measures? It's because our power grid is aging, and is not growing at a rate that keeps up with the growth of demand. Worse, instead of improving it as a nonprofit or government-owned utility would, they're giving excess profits to their stockholders while pressuring everyone to do stupid hacks like adding emergency cutoffs on air conditioning so they can let your house hit a hundred degrees to save power, forcing everyone to use those crappy CFL bulbs, paying people to replace their old refrigerators, and other temporary bandaids that merely delay the inevitable, but don't really solve the problem.
What this proves is that for-profit corporations simply cannot be trusted to maintain such a critical resource. Their natural tendency is to operate on razor-thin margins to turn maximum profit. When they screw up, the government ends up declaring a state of emergency and paying for the losses, so having that infrastructure in private hands is basically nothing more than government subsidizing a bunch of wealthy fat cats on Wall Street. Wouldn't it be nice if instead of paying Wall Street billionaires, the government instead spent that money to actually improve the power grid?
We need to convince the U.S. government that this is an important problem to solve now, before we have more widespread blackouts that take out a huge swath of the U.S. like the one last September in southern California, Arizona, and parts of Mexico. The only way that's going to happen is if our government steps up to the plate and builds a government-owned and government-managed power infrastructure. What we need is the nationwide equivalent of TVA, but with a network of modern, superconducting power lines crisscrossing the country.
"Open the pod bay doors, HAL." -- Dave Bowman, 2001