Pregnant piping plover plunges Philly into panic

After hours of research, I suggest to you that the real reason for the massive summer blackout in the Northeast was birds.

Yes readers, the complex series of events that transpired to spread complete darkness across tens of thousands of square miles in the United States and Canada, and affected millions of people was the result of migratory birds and the senseless federal regulations that protect the little crappers.

To fully appreciate the situation, you have to reach into the black hole of federal regulations that control the operation of many water-powered generators. The generators in these dams produce millions of kilowatts of power. Unfortunately, these dams are operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which dances to the music of, you guessed it, federal regulations. These complex regulations were all promulgated by Congress — a body of idiots always focused on the desire for power and generally influenced by money, special interests and voters (in that order). The result, in the case of these ‘dam regulations’ (sic), is that special interests have been able to influence how these dams are operated — which means, common sense doesn't apply.

Now, getting back to the blackout. Normally there is more than 20 cubic miles of impounded water upstream from the dams along the upper Missouri river. However, on that fateful day, a hydraulic engineer working at the United States Army Corps of Engineers Reservoir control office in Omaha, NE, was told to cut back on the flow of water through the generators in the six mainstream dams along the Missouri River. I'll get to why in a minute. His actions reduced the amount of electrical power fed into the nation's power grid from these generators.

While initially a minor blip, other factors combined to create a cascading landslide of overloads, shortages and power trips. Within minutes, the Northeastern power grid was under unbearable stress. What started as a few megawatt decrease in power generation was multiplied into an unstoppable series of mammoth power generator trips as systems began disconnecting from the power grid in an attempt to avoid disaster.

So what caused the blackout? I suggest it was birds.

Yes, the distribution of millions of kilowatts of electricity to the Midwest depends every year on whether a baby piping plover or least tern has flown the nest. I kid you not! These birds nest on sand islands below dams in the Missouri River. The water flow through the dams is reduced to protect the birds until they return to Venezuela.

So, next time your power goes out, just remember, you're sitting in the dark because of illegal alien birds. And, until they go back to South America, you'll just have to endure the darkness because federal regulations require that the dams along the Missouri protect our feathery friends first. Human needs come second.

Editor's note: While the cause of the blackout is conjecture, the facts about the birds and dam operation are not. I couldn't make that up.

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