I’m writing you from my residence in Dallas, the place the temperature is 27 levels and there’s a number of inches of snow on the bottom. Not precisely typical Texas climate.
However I’m fortunate. My household and I’ve electrical energy and warmth. Tens of millions of my fellow Texans went with out energy for days, and lots of of hundreds of them nonetheless don’t have their lights on.
It didn’t must be like this. Whereas we’re seeing uncommon climate in Texas, the electrical grid right here additionally hasn’t acquired updates it has wanted for years. As one knowledgeable put it, the grid “limped alongside on underinvestment and neglect till it lastly broke below predictable circumstances.”
And it’s not simply Texas. States like Oregon, Kentucky and Louisiana are also seeing energy outages proper now. California confronted comparable struggles final 12 months.
These are the actual world penalties of America’s failure to modernize its infrastructure. Now it’s time to be taught from our errors and get to work.
It’s onerous to understate how dangerous America’s infrastructure has gotten. The nationwide electrical grid, for instance, will get a D+ grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). However the remainder of our infrastructure can be in horrible form, from bridges and roads to water programs and pipelines to colleges, ports, railways, airports and extra.
The outages this week aren’t the primary time we’ve seen the devastation of inaction, both. When two dams broke in Midland, Michigan final 12 months, for instance, 1,700 houses have been broken or outright destroyed.
Then there was the collapse of the I-35 Mississippi River Bridge in Minnesota in 2007, which killed 13 individuals and injured 135 others. It might probably occur once more: There have been greater than 56,000 structurally poor bridges in the USA in 2016, in keeping with the ASCE.
However there’s excellent news.
The disaster in Texas this week as soon as once more is highlighting the implications of inaction. However each disaster additionally yields alternative.
Investing in America’s infrastructure will present a shot within the arm into our economic system, which continues to wrestle within the wake of COVID-19. Tens of millions of latest jobs will probably be created by rebuilding infrastructure, and we’ll maximize our funding by making use of Purchase America preferences to make sure this work takes place in the USA.
Alliance for American Manufacturing