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Capitol Hill Exposed: Halls of Power Vulnerable to Energy Insurgents Part I
Like many Washingtonians living in and trekking about the area of Capitol Hill on “The Night the Lights Went Out at the Capitol” on Wednesday March 12th, we were astonished to learn about the source responsible for the power outage that undoubtedly caused a surge of consternation amongst those residents whose electricity demands were also disconnected from their utility’s supply.
According to Alex Greig of The Daily Mail, “Several thousand homes were still without power on Thursday morning.” Our bewilderment stemmed from the revelation that the nation’s capitol, which represents the power center of America’s dominance on the global stage, remains vulnerable to energy insurgents from a variety of predictable sources.
While numerous reports have so far identified the 60+ mph raging wind gusts as the sole culprit, causing more than 50,000 residents in the area to be cloaked in darkness, it is difficult to accept that winds alone were enough to overwhelm the capacity of the local utility to secure the flow of electricity to the grid that serves one of the most politically and economically powerful cities in the world. Livington and Stillman at the Washington Post briefly intimated a mere afterthought for its citizens whom without electricity would brave the temperatures that “nosedived into the 30s…with wind chills in the 20s” late that evening. It seems the broadcast value of this particular news event existed more in the visual novelty of the rarely unlit Capitol facilities than the human impacts, additional causes, or prospective innovations required to stave off the wind’s effects on the power grid in the future.
Much of the news coverage focused almost exclusively on the impact of the power loss through stories about the darkness that besieged some our most treasured landmarks including the Capitol Dome. However, the national press failed to illuminate the ultimate causes of the outage and the measures proposed by those entrusted to prevent such an episode from happening. The shortsightedness of the networks’ approach also left the residents in affected neighborhoods surrounding the Capitol buildings wondering if their anxieties about the outage were somehow undeserving of equal media attention and investigative efforts. Once again many have abandoned their journalistic obligation to facilitate fruitful public discourse that is equally comprehensive and constructive, because a variety of pressing concerns about this event were ignored by news outlets in their reports.
The families within our network at Eco-Source, along with thousands of our neighbors within ‘the District’ and the millions of tourists who schedule their visits weeks or months in advance of their arrival at the nation’s capitol, have questions that continue to go unanswered. Whenever a problem exists and the perpetual cycle of apathy stifles the opportunity for meaningful action, Eco-Source strives to develop and provide solutions that produce value. This quest for value-centered solutions to the Capital Hill conundrum led our team at Eco-Source to advance some of the most pertinent questions offered by our neighbors and to commit our genuine efforts in finding answers.
Why are the Halls of Power in our nation’s capitol vulnerable to energy shortages, spikes, surges, and/or outages, which together define what we have termed ‘Energy Insurgents’? What is the primary agency of government responsible for ensuring that Capitol Hill’s power supply remains constant and secure? Beyond the all too convenient reaction of casting blame for the power outage on high wind gusts, what are the faults or inefficiencies within the current infrastructure that contributed to this power failure?
What costs will taxpayers be forced to endure for the repair or replacement of the sensitive equipment powered by the electrical circuits of the affected facilities? What vulnerabilities do residents around the Capitol and the nation continue to face? If power grid failures of this nature could occur at the heart of our federal power apparatus, how susceptible are state and local facilities to these same energy insurgents? And lastly, how can our efforts at Eco-Source serve to provide solutions that produce value for energy consumers who could likely find themselves in the same situation?
While our inquiries proceed, we invite you to share your feedback and insights in the comment section below. Please return for Part II of this post to review the answers we find, engage with our dynamic platforms of products and services, and share your approval of Eco-Source with your social networks.