Will Blackout Provide Environmental Adversaries Ammunition?

Fear is that more powerplants and transmission lines will be built instead of focusing on energy efficiency and renewables

Published: 19-Aug-2003

Environmentalists in the United States and Canada fear last week's blackout will provide potent ammunition for the politicians and business groups seeking massive investments in new power plants and transmission lines.

A better legacy of the outage, activists say, would be a bold push for renewable energy and effective conservation measures. They hope that the post-blackout spectacle in Ontario will be replicated elsewhere -- a pro-business Conservative government preaching conservation to industry and householders alike, to the point of suggesting clothes-washing in cold water.

"Building more plants and transmission lines -- for consumers and people uneducated about the issues, it's an argument that will seem to make sense," said Steve Clemmer, energy analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, Mass. "Those are the obvious responses, but it's more complicated than that."



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