Yesterday President Bush signed the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, which commits $31 billion to securing the U.S. against terrorist attacks. Included in that price tag is $84.2 million for infrastructure vulnerability and risk assessment, part of which will go to evaluating the U.S. power grid - a grid that has been widely criticized of late.
It's easy to understand the criticism.
Millions lost power during Hurricane Isabel, some still without electricity. Two months prior, the largest blackout in U.S. history left millions more stranded without power.
It is clear the nation's power grid needs not only physical improvements, but competent management as well. This will take money and time. It is imperative, however, that we fix the weaknesses in our energy infrastructure, or we may soon find ourselves alone in the dark (again).