The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Detroit power outages:
Extorting money for new power plants?

Aug 29, 2005

Cities across the Detroit metro area have experienced power outages in recent weeks.

Why? Because of thunderstorms or tornadoes? No. Almost every time, DTE Energy claimed there was an unforeseen problem at one of its electrical substations.

Strangely enough, these power outages come at a time when Michigan's major utility companies, DTE Energy and Consumers Energy, are pushing for public funding for the construction of a new power plant, most likely a nuclear one. They claim the state could run out of electricity if they don't get help.

Just a year ago, the head of Michigan's Public Service Commission, Peter Lark, was assuring everyone that Michigan's electrical "deregulation" law would not cause the same kind of electrical crisis that occurred in California. Now Lark is echoing DTE's statements about an impending power shortage, saying, "We're not likely to have enough energy to meet demand . . . so we'll need an additional something."No one can say for sure what's behind all the recent power outages. They appear strangely reminiscent, however, of the rolling blackouts that were used to extort higher rates from California residents during the electricity crisis there.

Finally, after receiving many complaints about all of the power outages, the Public Service Commission says it is "investigating" their causes.

We can bet the utilities will have their new plants all paid for by us – long before the PSC finishes its "investigation." That's what government agencies are good for – blocking everyone, while the big companies make an end run to more profits.