State Lawmakers Call Con Ed To Albany For Hearing On Power Outages

Originally published in WCBS 880 Radio on July 25, 2019.

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Con Edison was called to Albany on Thursday as state lawmakers announced a hearing will be held in the troubled utility’s performance.

Brooklyn State Sen. Andrew Gounardes constituents were among the thousands of New Yorkers who went days without power during this weekend’s heat wave.

“This was a foreseeable incident,” the Democrat said.

Approximately 33,000 customers, mostly in southeast Brooklyn – where Gounardes represents – were left without power Sunday as the heat index hit triple digits for the third day in a row.

Con Edison later announced the lights were out to make repairs and prevent a wider blackout.

Now, Gounardes wants a hearing in Albany to answer the question whether Con Ed should keep feeding power to the city.

“If it gets revealed that as the course of these hearings, they’re not up for this job, they can’t perform as they’re needed to perform, they can’t fulfill this public utility, then they should no longer have the ability to run power lines or run power service in New York City,” he told WCBS 880.

Gounardes says he doesn’t know if Con Ed should have its license to operate revoked. However, the idea is something both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have floated as a possibility.

Beyond hearings, Gounardes and other lawmakers in Albany are asking the state public service commission to launch an investigation into Con Ed to find out exactly what caused the massive Manhattan blackout and the heat wave power outage.