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Infrastructure Bill In Congress Looks To Modernize The Electric Grid

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Matthew Henry
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The infrastructure bill moving through Congress includes billions of dollars to modernize the electric grid. One of the goals is to make the system less vulnerable during severe weather.

The bill includes $73 billion dollars to modernize the electric grid. U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm says the money could be used to move power lines underground, so they would be less susceptible to severe weather. Granholm says other countries are already doing it.

"There's a lot of effort of undergrounding distribution and transmission wires, where you can put soil over the top and just farm on top of it and have the farmer compensated for this line that goes underneath the ground that you can't even see," said Granholm.
 
Chris Meyers, the general manager for the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives, says it’s too expensive to put power lines underground without government help. The $1 trillion bill is still awaiting a vote in the House.

This report was produced by the Oklahoma Public Media Exchange, a collaboration of public media organizations. Help support collaborative journalism by donating at the link at the top of this webpage.

Seth Bodine joined KOSU in June 2020, focusing on agriculture and rural issues.
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