Study: Ominous Power Outages a Risk in 2009


A new study conducted by the NextGen Energy Council shows an increasing risk for major brownouts and blackouts beginning in the summer of 2009 if significant improvements aren’t made to the U.S. power grid.

If vulnerable regions such as the Western U.S. experience unusually hot temperatures for prolonged periods in 2009, the potential for local brownouts or blackouts is high, according to the report. There is a significant risk local disruptions could also cascade into regional outages that potentially could cost tens of billions of dollars to repair.

“This study should serve as a very loud wake up call to every elected official in America,” says Bill Vasey, a Democratic state senator in Wyoming and chairman of Americans for American Energy. “There is no question that we need more power plants, more transmission lines and better access to energy resources of all types. But this study shows that the clock is ticking fast, and unless we take action fast, it may run out on us.”

The study also found the primary barrier to implementing new power plants and transmission lines is the “opposition of well-funded environmental groups that oppose and file lawsuits against virtually every new infrastructure project proposed.”

Efforts by environmental groups have blocked new coal-fired and nuclear power plants, transmission corridors, and new oil and natural gas leasing and development on western interior lands.

“Many folks in the environmental community are well-meaning people,” says Vasey. “But some of the leaders of these national groups are leading their organizations, and our nation, down the wrong path. I call upon these leaders to start putting their country first ahead of their own personal agendas, whatever they may be.”

To view the study, click here.

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