Burying power lines not always the answer

Updated 7:31 AM EST, Thu February 13, 2014

Story highlights

Theodore Kury: When bad weather hits, people ask: Why not bury the power lines?

He says it appeals as way to prevent power outages, but difficulties include cost

He says utility, regulators, government all must buy-in -- above-ground often easier

Kury: Buried lines subject to flood damage and are hard to repair

Editor’s Note: Theodore Kury, Ph.D., is the director of energy studies at the University of Florida’s Public Utility Research Center, where he studies the economic impacts of energy policy. The Public Utility Research Center is sponsored in part by the Florida electric utilities and the Florida Public Service Commission, neither of which has editorial control of any of the content produced by the center.

(CNN) —  

As winter storms continue to pound the United States, causing billions in damage and millions to be without electricity service, customers inevitably ask why doesn’t somebody – my utility, my regulator, my government – do something about this? Why aren’t power lines, for example, buried safely underground?