California's Wrong Move

With California adopting National Fire Protection Association 5000 instead of the International Code Council code (ENR 9/8 p. 9), here is yet another reason that we should strongly consider revoking its statehood!

The NFPA 5000 code is completely unrealistic and unworkable from a professional standpoint. It simply is a method for NFPA to have people buy all the remaining NFPA codes, which are referenced within its pages. Imagine trying to apply all of the various standards to a building project when you have to constantly try to figure out what or where the requirement is. The ICC code is simple, concise and detailed in its presentation, and its provisions are well tested.

Of course, it should not surprise us that California would want to do something different than everyone else. It tries to run the rest of the country through a multitude of other "regulations" that have snuck their way into the country’s various legal books at both the state and federal levels. Way to go, California!

Protect the U.S. Power Grid

You need to address what happened to the U.S. power grid protection system installed after the 1965 blackout (ENR 8/25p. 12). The first level of protection, called rolling reserve, required that there be powerplants in operation not loaded to 100% capacity. Unused capacity would equal the maximum that could be dropped off line if any running plant or power line went down.

The second level of protection was load shedding. If supply on the system did not equal demand, an automated system would open breakers and remove demand until both supply and demand were equal.

These protection systems were intended to keep the whole grid from cascading down. Have changes in power supply and consumer use caused this protection system to be eliminated? If so, why?

Houston, Texas