Enviros Fear Blackout Will Bolster Support for Bush Energy Plan

Last week’s blackout in the eastern U.S. and Canada caused food spoilage, water contamination, economic losses, transportation delays, and all manner of disruptions ranging from the inconvenient to the awful. Now, environmentalists fear it might also cause a change for the worse in U.S. national energy policy. They worry that politicians and business interests will use the furor over the power outage to drum up support for building new transmission lines and power plants — including nuclear plants. A better response, enviros say, would be to invest in renewable energy and conservation measures, including higher efficiency standards for lighting and appliances. “The best way to prevent energy bottlenecks and grid overload,” said Debbie Boger of the Sierra Club, “is to increase the efficiency of our buildings, homes, factories, and appliances, in addition to our transmission lines.”