According to Wikipedia, Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is:
“a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.”
One of the reasons that we can take time off to celebrate and enjoy Fourth of July activities is because our country’s fight for independence resulted in a common dream for all. It also created a critical infrastructure system that supports the development of manufacturing and technology products, and services we continue to enjoy.
As Americans we are fiercely independent, but united by choice. The competitive spirit of Americans played out in the World Cup this past week. While the American team unfortunately lost to Belgium, the respect both teams showed while competing on the soccer field was recognized by those who watched the game.
Political and company leaders who influence the critical infrastructure services we use should recognize that we, as Americans, are ratepayers, but also taxpayers who expect cost-effective reliable services. We have many examples of the creative and competitive spirit of America. We also acknowledge that we have leaders willing to fight for the best choices and standards.
That competitive spirit is also reflected in the fight for standards. Most Americans aren’t aware of the well-placed arguments related to standardizing on 110vac and alternating current (AC) for the transmission and distribution lines delivering power to our homes and businesses. But those debates did happen and a choice was made to standardize on AC. In my opinion, this allowed the electric utility industry to focus its efforts on AC, which is part of the reason we have the most cost-effective and reliable power grid in the world.
When leaders engage in purpose-driven debates with stakeholders, that drives a decision process which provides the opportunity and environment that allows everyone to focus their efforts as the critical infrastructure industry moves forward. History shows us that decisions made by a limited number of individuals or an elite are, more often than not, flawed and have to be corrected in the future.
Celebrate the Fourth and our independence safely!