Canada gets blackout blame

2003-08-15 15:58

New York - Canada may have been the origin of the biggest power outage in US history, New York state Governor George Pataki said on Friday.

Asked what specifically caused the blackout that stranded millions in Canada and the northeast and midwest United States, Pataki told NBC television: "At this point I don't think anyone can give you that answer.

But "the New York independent systems operator says they are virtually certain it had nothing to do in New York state. And they believe it occurred west of Ontario, cascaded from there into Ontario, Canada, and through the northeast.

"But why it happened, the specifics, why the steps that were supposed to have been been taken to prevent this from happening. .. those are questions that need to be answered."

Pataki stressed that a report that the trigger had been a problem at Niagara Mohawk power company plant in New York state was inaccurate, insisting that the trouble appeared to have originated in Canada.

"The North American Electric Reliability Council, a binational agency, is looking into this. And we're going to demand that they do an investigation" to determine why safeguards did not work, Pataki said.

"This should not happen. We are in 2003. We are the most sophisticated society in the world, and we have to have an energy system that is reliable and where this type of systemic failure does not occur," Pataki added.