As of today, seventy percent of the electrical grid in Puerto Rico is still down, despite the curious awarding of a $300 million no-bid contract to a small Montana electric company which a Trump donor and friend of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke owns. Crony capitalism, however, has never perturbed Tesla Electric’s founder Elon Musk.
Most of the electric grid in Puerto Rico was destroyed when hurricane Maria leveled it almost two months ago. All but one hospital lost power which caused nearly everyone in ICU wards to die. Many dialysis patients also passed away because there was no power to run the medical facilites. Perhaps it was that or that he knew he could do something to showcase the efficacy of solar power but Elon Musk knew he could do something about it and he did.
There have been two enormous obstacles to improving the outdated electrical grid all across this country which the entire world ignores and those obstacles are Charles and David Koch. The Koch brothers have purchased every Republican hireling they can find to obstruct the solar power industries which have caused many of our most talented visionaries to go where their genius can be exploited, namely China.
China is investing in solar like no other nation because of their terrible pollution problems. They are also quickly discovering that it is cheaper, cleaner and more efficient than coal-fired power plants. China doesn’t particularly perturb fossils fuel barons like the Koch brothers, but they certainly do not want to break American’s addiction to oil.
The devastation in Puerto Rico however is providing a unique opportunity for Tesla Electric because rewiring the island will take more than a year. Since Trump is not likely to allocate enough funding to bury the power lines, the new lines will be subjected to the whims of any violent hurricane that is sure to come. Musk managed to get an entire solar grid up and working in just a week for the Hospital del Niño.
As much as Republican lawmakers have tried to sabotage the solar industry, the fundamental economics of it are going to put most utility companies out of business and they know it. Many have retained lobbying groups to stifle solar installations all across the country. Florida is among the worst offenders, Governor Rick Scott and his fellow Republicans have passed laws to make solar power more difficult to install and prevent the groundswell of inevitability that the solar industry will soon turn into a tsunami.
Had Trump seen the wisdom of a wireless electric grid then perhaps he would have awarded the $300 million contract to Tesla but Trump will never do what’s best for the Americans languishing in Puerto Rico right now. Replacing the old electrical grid with the exact same forces of nature ready to level it again is like the rest of this administration, a recipe for disaster. A solar power grid would be much more difficult for a hurricane to destroy and perhaps if we started investing in the innovators then the world would be a much better place than Charles and David Koch would leave.