Stumbling around in the dark
Last month the Eastern seaboard of the US was plunged into darkness by the simultaneous failure of 21 power stations, which left millions without electricity. The row over responsibility for the crisis continues to rage, but could this particular cloud have an unexpected silver lining? Tia Barancik reports
Shortly after 4:00pm Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday (14 August), the lights went out – literally. The northeastern US and parts of Canada as far north as Ottawa suffered a major power outage that disrupted the supply of approximately 61,800 megawatts of power to an area covering around 50 million customers. Even as utilities worked tirelessly to restore power to many areas within 24 hours, politicians, industry executives and commentators were already on national television arguing for legislative and regulatory changes to the way the US regulates electricity. They blamed each other for the stalemate between Congress, federal and state regulators that has prevented meaningful reform.
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