I read this CNN Opinion piece and it immediately struck a cord. About ten years ago I moved from a neighborhood where the power went out regularly to one where the power almost never goes out. The difference? The powerlines are buried in the new neighborhood. This seems like a no-brainer to me -We should bury those lines. I understand that it will be expensive although the linked article suggests it may not be as expensive as anticipated.
I think I just expect that the power will stay on. I am certainly glad I am not one of the millions of Americans who will be celebrating the 4th of July in 100 degree heat with no power. It is more important than ever that we have reliable electricity. When utilities made the original cost-benefit analysis about burying the lines we were probably not as reliant on computers and phones as we are now. In fact, almost all of the ways we receive information in an emergency rely on electricity.
I also have to confess that I think those above ground power lines are ugly, especially when the utility has to butcher the nearby trees to make room for the power lines. Those trees still pose a threat to the electricity supply. After every storm the media duly reports the number of homes without power – Why do we put up with this?
This just seems like good public policy. A consistent supply of electricity seems like a reasonable expectation.