Regarding the de-regulation of energy, this is not such a bad idea really; even the commoditizing of energy is not such a bad idea. This can be done correctly and can assist businesses in judging costs and allow entrepreneurs to understand their costs and turn variable costs into fixed costs meaning more investment in R and D, co-generation, and larger capital expenditures for manufacturing, knowing things will be okay. We see a huge problem with factories, which switched to Natural Gas to save the environment and get some tax breaks and this winter may be put out of business due to the rising costs during the coming shortage of Natural Gas.
We cannot lose anymore manufacturing jobs in this country, especially the ones which have survived so far which have been those specialized high paying niche manufacturing jobs or those companies which have done well since plant and equipment have long been paid off. Those very high tech robotic manufacturing facilities will lose out to third world labor costs due to high costs of energy, we need stable power and the flow of energy. This is merely one reason we are putting this report at such a high level. It appears if we are going to spend some 500 plus Billion on a new power grid then perhaps we might like to look into some of the new physics we are learning about and it is theorized that we should be able to deliver via ELF power to a receiver or battery system to any point on the planet, maybe we can deliver the power without transmission lines which go "buzzzzzz" and if they do maybe we can turn that sound back into energy so we do not lose so much energy during transmission to the points of destination.
Just because Enron is embroiled in scandal does not mean the energy should not be traded or that free markets should not soften the fluctuation in pricing or that energy should not be deregulated. It really is time to get the grid together, get the back ups in place, set ourselves up for flawless energy and lower the costs. All this can be done in somewhat short order. But we must see the big picture. Having looked at these issues on both a macro level and at a micro level it appears to me that when it is possible companies, individuals and government agencies should in fact generate their own power. Houses with fuel cells, solar, wind, etc and plug into the grid so the grid can work net-centric with sensors allowing for the closing off or opening of connections to the whole, when every thing works, it works well, but right now when it doesn't everything goes to hell.
Why not think of it like a ship with a hole in it, the hatches are closed and the water coming in is limited to one small area, meanwhile that small area has a back up, get back on line, fixes its problem and then once that is done, reconnection occurs. Not one fail safe many, many smaller fail safes, sensors at each house, street, housing tract, census tract, zip code, city (maybe many individual sectors), country, state, sub-region, region, country. All can run independently or all together? More thought is needed here; a little more thought and a whole lot more action. Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs