In the past several years, American power generating companies have been diverted from upgrading their existing equipment, including coal generating plants, transmission lines, substations, etc. on the Grid, by the incessant hounding of the EPA, which has redirected power companies away from upgrades and planned maintenance, and toward - anything but coal. The EPA has induced hundreds of billions of dollars of expenses, and plan even more penalties,fines, and taxes. To me, a penalty levied by the federal government is a fine, and is a tax. Justice Roberts doesn't like "quibbling over labels," but its all the same - mo money demanded by the government. BTW, In the Senate, “Energy policy has been creeping into the tax code [Carbon Tax] at an exponential rate" Senator Orrin Hatch, June 12, 2012.
From the East Coast, past Illinois, up to 3 million people have been without electrical power, and so the first suspects to be considered responsible for the catastrophes are, of course, the Environmental Protection Agency and its environmentally ill allies like the Sierra Club, as well as President Obama.
Even at this late date, 2,000,000 citizens are without power, including those within Washington, D.C. Bureaucratic slowdowns happily expected.
"As utility companies face new deadlines for coal-fired power plants to comply with tight new EPA clean air regulations, many energy suppliers have plans to shutter plants that employ thousands of IBEW members rather than invest in costly upgrades.
If thousands of megawatts are suddenly taken off-line, this could trigger massive electricity shortages, just as demand is expected to increase, according to a regional transmission organization report.
A report from PJM, a regional transmission organization covering 13 states and the District of Columbia, estimates that 18,000 megawatts of electricity will be lost to the power grid due to expected coal plant shutdowns. That's the loss of enough power to light and heat 18 million homes."
Even if the recent power outages are more due to storm/mechanical damage to the electric grid, rather than the unavailability of backup power due to decommissioning of generating plants, the fact is, that American power companies have been distracted by the EPA and federal government from upgrading the transmission stations and other infrastructure as they are forced to invest capital into ways of transferring from the traditional (and cheap) coal to other sources such as natural gas. Either way, Obama's big rear is still sitting on American energy production. And, don't think they won't be going after natural gas with a vengeance, as they have attacked oil and nuclear through the years.
Here are some alarming charts/graphs of what is planned by the EPA as it robs Americans of its choice to use plentiful coal for energy.