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Ed Driscoll

This is the Motor City, and This is How We Broil

June 12th, 2011 - 10:01 am

Back on June 1st, the Financial Times reported, “Obama makes Detroit revival central to his campaign.”

So if Detroit is a metaphor for President Obama in 2012, how’s it working out these days?

If, as Charles Krauthammer said this past week, “it’s Midnight in America,” the darkness slammed into Detroit hard this week. Or as Henry Payne writes at National Review’s “Planet Gore” blog, “Obama Goes Green and Detroit Goes Black:”

Since President Obama signed the stimulus bill in early 2009, Washington has spent over $100 billion of it “transforming” America to a green electric grid. In Michigan alone, hundreds of millions have been distributed to rich utilities for upgrades to “smart grid” systems that enable better power management to accommodate electric cars; to rich multinationals like Dow and LGChem to produce batteries; and to wind-energy projects run by rich institutions like Dow Corning, Michigan Aerospace, and the University of Michigan

And on Thursday, the city of Detroit — one of the nation’s largest and poorest cities — lost power.

Is there a better metaphor for the Obama administration’s utopian transformation of America than the Detroit power blackout of 2011?

Like Obama nationally, Michigan has ignored its biggest city’s power infrastructure and instead poured money into quixotic wind projects on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to feed the state’s Renewable Power Standard and the ideological demands of Washington.

“A wind turbine has over 8,000 individual parts and they all can be made right here in Michigan,” said Michigan senator Debbie Stabenow upon handing her state $1.9 million of wind pork back in July, 2009. “I am pleased these grants will support the important research efforts happening across our state as we continue to lead the way in developing clean energy technologies in the 21st century economy.”

Meanwhile, Detroit’s antiquated electricity infrastructure can’t even provide power through two 95-degree days before imploding. City officials said the blackout — which struck all of the city’s major buildings including city hall, museums, and the courts — was “caused by extreme power demand for air conditioning after two days of temperatures in the 90s.” Really? Just two days? And what happens when summer comes?

As one of the commenters to the above blog post notes, given how many businesses and individuals have already left Detroit (GQ recently noted that Detroit is in the process of demolishing 70,000 abandoned homes), how much of a strain can the Detroit electrical grid be under these days?

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