Govs.: More Blackouts Possible

By Dave Evans
(New York-WABC, August 16, 2003)It's not very comforting, but a warning today that we could see another blackout. Today in Albany a meeting among governors with the U.S. Secretary of Energy. They demanded a thorough investigation into why it all began, and what can be done to prevent a future blackout.

A day after the big blackout a lot of questions remain. And today the governors of New York and New Jersey demanded answers.

James McGreevey, Governor of New Jersey: "We asked the secretary, and clearly the secretary will be responsive, (for a) thorough, complete, agonizing investigation."

We still don't know what caused the power failure, but the blame game is already well underway. At first American officials believed it was Canada's fault. Toronto's mayor though, had this response.

Mel Lastman, Toronto Mayor: "Tell me, have you ever seen the United States take blame for anything?"

We know the source of the blackout began in northern Ohio. But why still isn't known.

Although power is back, five upstate nuclear power plants remain off-line. We could still face some power shortages in the next few days.

Spencer Abraham, Secretary of Energy: "There remains potential for rolling blackouts in some areas. And that's why the governor's call for conservation remains important."

In the city there's already concern in neighorhoods like Greenpointe and Williamsburg, that the power outage could lead to a renewed push for a new power plant, to be built by Trans Gas at the old Bayside Oil plant.

Edward Vale, Waterfront Task Force: "Well actually the community is very concerned about that happening. And we're actually really hoping that Trans Gas Energy and other people won't try to take advantage of the situation."

The mayor is opposed to the Greenpointe plant, and says this power outage had nothing to do with lack of power -- it was a transmission problem. Still he says more power plants elsewhere are inevitable.

Mayor Bloomberg: "We are a society dependent on large amounts of electricity. It has to be reliable. That requires building power plants, upgrading power plants, and building transmission lines"

So while state and city officials demandand better technology, and an improved electrical grid system, they can't promise this won't happen again.

Governor Pataki: "We know that our system will be up and running but we cannot say with 100 percent certainity that this cannot happen again."

And Connecticut's Governor John Rowland also participated in today's summit in Albany, he did so by telephone.

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2003