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March 15, 2006

Iraq's Electricity At Three-Year Low Iraq

The right wing likes to say that we're not getting all the good news out of Iraq. All the great reconstruction work that's been done, for example. In their dreams. AP (via Xymphora), yesterday:

Electricity output has dipped to its lowest point in three years in Iraq, where the desert sun is rising toward another broiling summer and U.S. engineers are winding down their rebuilding of the crippled power grid.

The Iraqis, in fact, may have to turn to neighboring Iran to help bail them out of their energy crisis — if not this summer, then in years to come.

The overstressed network is producing less than half the electricity needed to meet Iraq's exploding demand. American experts are working hard to shore up the system's weaknesses as 100-degree-plus temperatures approach beginning as early as May, driving up usage of air conditioning, electric fans and refrigeration.

If the summer is unusually hot, however, "all bets are off," said Lt. Col. Otto Busher, an engineer with the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division.

"We're living miserably," said housewife Su'ad Hassan, a mother of four and one of millions in Baghdad who have endured three years of mostly powerless days under U.S. occupation. Her family usually goes without hot water and machine washing, she said, and "often my children have to do their homework in the dim light of oil lamps."

Despite such hardships, Army Corps of Engineers officers regard their Restore Iraq Electricity project as one of the great feats in corps history, along with the building of the Panama Canal a century ago. [Emphasis added]

Like the building of the Panama Canal. Yeah, whatever. Milo Minderbinder lives.

Posted by Jonathan at March 15, 2006 11:42 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb


"Iraq's exploding demand."

Bad choice of words, perhaps. Also, instead of "Restore Iraq Electricity," they should have called it "Restore Iraq Power," or RIP.

Won't Iran need some nuclear power plants to produce that much extra electricity?

Posted by: Bob at March 16, 2006 08:23 AM