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Infrastructure privatization (contractor-owned and contractor-operated, or COCO) without government oversight squanders time and resources. No competition exists for utilities. Yet, American Water runs ads on TV. Will this persuade the Public Service Commission to increase rates? Appalachian Power also seeks an increase because of damage from back-to-back February ice storms. Hasty repairs highlight our local power grid’s fragility.

Critical infrastructure ownership by the people guarantees better outcomes. Government-owned and contractor-operated (GOCO) promotes proper oversight and industry participation. It delivers reliable services and products while maintaining financial accountability.

The Biden administration and Congress must develop financially sound ways to address infrastructure obligations. Use GOCO instead of COCO. Advocate cost-benefit analysis for project expenditures. Adhere to proven service and product standards. Think long-term results and not short-term Band-Aid fixes.

We the people need lawmakers to do their job. Demand legislators negotiate policy rather than perpetrate drama. Press Congress to do the following: censure members hooked on conspiracy theories; stop members from demonizing each other; and keep members in D.C. until passing consequential legislation. Please focus on what’s best for our nation rather than what’s good for special interest groups. Let’s profit from Joel Bakan’s insight when he notes, “The corporation was originally conceived as a public institution whose purpose was to serve national interests and advance the public good.”

Roger Combs


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