Lawmakers trying to shed light on blackout situation

Southwestern Connecticut was the state's hardest hit region during the blackout on August 14, and now lawmakers are trying to shed more light on the cause of the power failure.Rep. Terry Becker (D-Stratford), the chairman of the state legislature's energy and technology committee, called for an informational hearing on the blackout. Becker explained that he wants the state to figure out a way to be an integral part of the power grid, yet remain insulated from such power failures.Steven Whitley of ISO New England, the operator of the regional power grid, testified at the hearing that southwestern Connecticut has the weakest transmission system in all of New England. He said the problems with the region were "absolutely ridiculous."Some local opponents saw Whitley's testimony as a commercial for Northeast Utilities' plan to upgrade capacity between Bethel and Norwalk to 345 kilovolts. One observer remarked that power proponents have harnessed the blackout to serve pre-existing agendas. Both sides of the issue, however, agree they have to work together to find a solution.

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