This article highlights that the creation of efficient electric appliances using cheap electricity has enabled us to enjoy healthier and more bountiful lives. Since electric power results from the conversion of energy resources in an electric power generating plant, those resources must be adequate and available at low cost at the plant site. Mechanical engineers developed the machinery for coal mining, for coal transportation, and for bulk coal handling. GE and Westinghouse made early contributions starting in electric generator and electric motor development. The US electric utility industry has been mandated by several states to sell all or a large portion of its generating plants. Independent power generators are building new combined-cycle units in selected market regions. Mergers and acquisitions of electric utilities are continuing to increase the size of parent company operations. Mechanical engineers have developed relatively low-cost electric power generation technology through the 20th century, enabling the United States to maintain its world economic leadership and standard of living.

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