I got the power!

The administration likes to highlight positive developments in Iraq. When electricity production equaled (and then exceeded) pre-war levels in October, the Coalition Provisional Authority was quick to trumpet this as proof that, however slowly, things are getting better.

On November 2, ABC reported that electricity production was, according to the CPA, at 4,518 MW. [Pre-war level was 3,300 – 4,400 MW, and the CPA has used 4,400 as its point of comparison.] There’s only one problem: It’s now been over a month since Iraq produced as much as 4,518 MW in a single day. The closest it’s come since was 4,237 MW, achieved the very next day, below what the CPA describes as the pre-conflict level.

In the 45 days since, Iraq has seen an average of 3,847 MW per day. So far this month the daily average has been 3,787 MW. The 7-day average has been under 4,000 MW/day since October 15.

Electricity production was at pre-war levels in mid-October. But a month later, it no longer is by the very standards the CPA has set. And yet, Paul Bremer brags about a level of electricity production not achieved in over a month. In the current issue of WORLD, Bremer is quoted as follows:

“Essential services are coming back,” Mr. Bremer said. Many towns and cities have 24-hour electricity for the first time ever. Mr. Bremer beams when he announces that Iraq now produces more than 4,400 megawatts of electricity, the peak of Saddam’s electricity. [Emphasis added.]

It might be time to stop beaming, because after coming back it looks like some basic services are going away again.

Update: uggabugga has been kind enough to post a graph showing peak production and MW hours since August, based on the CPA data.



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