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FastWalkingShortGuy t1_j98g0wv wrote

Listen, I'm not going to go so far as to say utilities should be nationalized, but if necessities are going to be commodified, there need to be regulations in place that cap the profits these companies can make and at a bare minimum require a set percentage of profits to be reinvested in infrastructure.

If we had a world-class power grid with buried lines and non-existent interruptions, then fine, charge a premium for a premium product.

But with Eversource, it seems like every other year, we get a week+ long outage after a storm that the Southeast would consider a particularly heavy rain storm.

Fuck these guys.


[deleted] t1_j98gxka wrote



Blicero1 t1_j98jjoi wrote

Yeah, power delivery is a natural monopoly. There is no competition. Should be state run


Enginerdad t1_j9ajine wrote

Exactly. Free market capitalism requires two fundamental things to operate; valid competition and no coerced consumption. Both of these things are missing in utilities; there are no other distributors in the market, and people are effectively required to purchase electricity to survive and function at this point in history.


RetinolSupplement t1_j98kuqe wrote

Regulations just get politicized and called red tape in 20 years to a new demo with promises of things getting better if only we can cut that red tape. Then once it's cut it's harder to get back. It should be nationalized and that should be the end of it. Good luck convincing people later that "No I should be able to own that and charge more and make money off something you all need to live." We would look at them like Nestle CEO trying to privatize fresh water in it's entirety.


Uncle_Baconn t1_j98jury wrote

>there need to be regulations in place that cap the profits these companies can make

There is. There are. Ever notice that their net profits are almost exactly 12% of revenue every single year? Companies that are raking it in are above 20%, and struggling companies are around 5%. They're a nice, happy medium. You don't want your power company struggling to pay their bills, it's how people get killed like with PG&E or Columbia Gas.

Revenue is almost exclusively tied to usage (they have some investments that are outside rates). When you use more, they make more. What direction are all consumer goods going? Electric cars instead of gas, electric lawnmowers instead of gas, electric heat pumps instead of propane or oil, the entire economy is becoming electrified. What did you think was going to happen?


FastWalkingShortGuy t1_j98k935 wrote

>You don't want your power company struggling to pay their bills

Oof, someone believes in the tooth fairy of corporate benevolence a little too much.

Much better that the consumer struggles to pay their bill to support the shareholders and feather the nests of the board of directors, right?



Uncle_Baconn t1_j98nwqb wrote

No not at all. I've worked for companies that cut "culture" events or stick two traveling managers in the same EconoLodge room when traveling to save a buck. You know what happens when those sort of cost cutting measures are implemented? Corners get cut on safety next when they try and squeeze their dollars by stretching maintenance windows, and people get hurt or killed. I've seen it twice working for big companies, and its the first thing I look for to start sending out resumes. It's a spiral that is extremely difficult to pull out of.


libananahammock t1_j98q11e wrote

You mean like how Norfolk Southern has had record profits yet barely fixes anything so much so you get shit like what happened in Ohio?

News flash… they could be raking in the bucks and STILL cut corners because all they care about is the money.


Uncle_Baconn t1_j98wqcq wrote

Except if you look back at 2020, their net income was down what, 25%? I bet a whole lot of maintenance got extended during that time, a whole bunch of really experienced people got let go, and ton of work fell behind. Looks like the cause of the crash might be a failed wheel bearing on one of the cars. They have about 6.5 million rail cars (Wikipedia), with at least 8 bearings each, so 52 million bearings. It takes a week to change a wheel, so I imagine a bearing takes that long too. Looks like some rail wheel bearings last 50 years (per Timken bearings), with reconditioning every 10. So that means that every year, 10% get at least reconditioned or 5.2 million bearings should have been serviced that year. Something tells me they fell behind, and this is the result. Maintenance failures aren't instant - they accumulate over time like skipping oil changes in your car. It's fine until it isn't.


Proud-South-6718 t1_j9a2sht wrote

What the CEO and others like him make should be capped at a dollar amount, not a percentage.