So another example in my long list of why monopolies of any kind are never a good idea and we need more public infrastructure again focuses on Puget Sound Energy. Recently a City of Bellingham truck backed into a poll at very low speed. Normally this would not have been much of an issue, but PSE doesn’t do a good job maintaining their poles and other infrastructure so it was. They also have recently raised the rate they are charging people to hang wires from their poles. You would think this is because they have a great network of poles, but it’s actually just because they are stealing from you via maintenance fees. They collect the fees and then do nothing to maintain their infrastructure. This poll snapped and fell over because it was so old and rotted out that if you breathed on it incorrectly it wold have fallen over. If you look closely you can even see a wasp’s next in here. The post to its left has so many holes in it that it looks like swiss cheese. Most of these poles are also in a high wind areas, and obviously many of the poles are in terrible shape and should have been replaced a long time ago, so it would make sense to bury the cabling. PSE always says this is too expensive to do, but that’s only because we don’t actually hold them accountable for all of the problems that their lack of maintenance causes lost work hours, ruined food, damaged electronic equipment, the list goes on. In fact, our regulation of them is so toothless that they don’t have to reimburse you at all unless you’ve lost power for 5 days and then they only have to give you 50 dollars. Just like with the telecom companies, our government has created a system that allows these monopolies to rob you blind and doesn’t even hold them accountable for maintaining their own infrastructure even though they charge their customers maintenance fees. Of course, our council includes members that work for PSE like Pinky Vargas so I’m sure nothing will be done about this in the near future. Still, it’s pretty obvious from the photo that the last time this pole was a live tree dinosaurs roamed the earth. I’m sure they’ll say it was just an oversight.