Have you ever wondered what would happen if the US power grid failed?
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In this episode of The Brian Nichols Show, we explore that question and more with special guest Robert Bryce - host of the Power Hungry podcast. They start off discussing the fragility of the US electric grid, using the 2021 Texas blackouts from Winter Storm Uri as a case study. Bryce explains how the crony capitalist approach to electricity pioneered by Enron made systems more vulnerable to disruption in California. He also argues for the need to embrace nuclear power to ensure grid reliability and meet climate goals.
The two delve into energy subsidies, with Bryce highlighting how solar and wind get hundreds of times more federal funding per unit of energy than nuclear power and other sources. He calls this distortion of the market "terrible for the poor and middle class." When it comes to solutions, Bryce asserts that strong, bipartisan federal government support for nuclear is essential.
On threats to the grid, Bryce warns that it is vulnerable not just to severe weather events, but also physical attacks, cyber-attacks, and even internal sabotage by environmental groups. Yet he says many policy decisions to address undermine reliability based on emotion rather than sound engineering.
Bryce concludes by emphasizing the need for clear-eyed, sober decision-making on energy and power. He plugs his new docu-series "Juice: Power Politics and the Grid" which provides an in-depth look at these issues.
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