It's not magic

It's not magic

It’s safe to say that we are not surprised when we flip the switch and our lights come on. We are surprised, disappointed — even angry — if they don’t. California recently went through an unusual once-in-a-decade heat wave. Despite paying among the highest rates in the country for electricity, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses had their electricity supplies turned off because of a power supply shortage. 

Hand holding a light bulb

Credit: Getty Images

The event followed a disaster last year in which power to millions of consumers was shut off because of the threat of wildfires in areas of the state where the grid was poorly maintained or where trees had not been cleared away from high-voltage power lines. The recent electricity blackouts in California are a prime example of getting what we vote for. The Golden State has adopted policies that have forced power providers to close fossil and nuclear power plants, while relying on intermittent renewable resources supplemented by imported power from neighboring states. Basic grid maintenance has been deferred in favor of more politically popular initiatives. Californians hoped that it would all work out.

Predictably, solar power supply plummets in the evening, when the sun goes down but when demand remains near its highest. Neighboring states have less excess supply to share during a heat wave. The result? The combination of poorly considered but politically popular policies and the limitations of renewable energy resources created rolling blackouts, leaving millions of Californians without power during some of the hottest evenings in years.

In comparison, Ohio’s electric cooperatives’ dependable “all of the above” approach to power generation — coal, natural gas, biomass, hydropower, and solar energy — means that electricity is available 24/7, and at affordable rates. It’s not exactly rocket science, and it’s certainly not magic. Power supplies need to be planned in order to be resilient under a variety of conditions, especially during extreme weather. 

If we don’t vote, we get the polices for which others vote; but don’t take my word for it.

Penn State University estimates that approximately 138 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election — only 58.1% of the nation’s voting-eligible population.

According to PBS, Ohio voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election was 4% lower than in the 2012 race, yet rural counties saw a spike in voter turnout.

In the 30 elections that took place between 1900 and 2016, Ohio voters cast ballots for the winning presidential candidate in 28 of them — more than any state in the country. 

Please be sure that your vote gets counted this year.