Like Ourselves: Forecast for Survey Graphic
by Paul Kellogg
The Energy We Can Harness
"Horse-power" is still a
measure in a century when stables are shut and ranges plowed under.
Oil wells and coal mines have taken their place and we have the
revival of running waters as a prime source of power. Next to
our soils themselves the hidden strength of the hills and of sunken
geological strata is our chiefest heritage as a people.
On every hand, who is to control, distribute, use this energy,
enters into economic and political controversy. Congress is beset
with questions of securities, holding companies, public-private
competition. The courts ponder how far the common sense of the
founders in investing navigable streams with public interest shall
be stretched in a day of great dams. Bituminous coal fields with
their misery of chronic unemployment are the stage of a renewed
attempt through the Guffey Act to reintroduce trade controls in
handling a greatly wasted natural resource. Under REA the federal
government enters upon a far-flung program of rural electrification
through which the farm may share with the city the advantages
of light, heat, refrigeration and power.
Such developments are shot through with a social significance
we shall interpret in the year ahead, and in particular we shall
continue Bench-Marks in the Tennessee Valley, a series of informal
papers by the chairman of the TVA, telling intimately of problems
and performance in the watershed which Daniel Boone explored,
and which is today the seat of our largest scale experiment in
combining engineering and education for the revival of a region.