Conservation, Alternative Energy Get Boost from Blackout

In most of the U.S. and Canada, last Thursday’s history-making blackout is little more than a memory: The lights are on, the AC is cranking, transportation systems are running, and it’s business as usual. Still, some officials, including New York Gov. George Pataki (R) and Ontario Premier Ernie Eves, warned people that they might feel the lingering effects of the power outage and encouraged everyone to conserve energy wherever possible. In some cities, such as Detroit, public transportation was free through the weekend as part of a plan to discourage the use of private vehicles. Another environmentally friendly side effect of the blackout: Alternative energy companies posted major gains on the stock market on Friday, the day after the conventional-fuel grid went kaput.