Queens in the Dark

As temperatures soared into the 90s last week, roughly 100,000 people in Western Queens lost power. We’re in the 8th day of the crisis, and nearly 10,000 people remain without power. It took Con Edison, our local power company, days to admit that the problem was real. As time passed and the lights stayed off, I wrote to Con Edison Chairman, President and CEO Kevin Burke to demand some answers and better communication with those who are affected.



Western Queens has 6 power plants and supplies 60% of the power to New York City. The residents bear the brunt of the health impacts of living near so many power plants, and now they are dealing with food spoilage, excessive heat and, in many cases, no hot water because they have no power. On top of that, some businesses have told me that they have millions in spoilage.



The community remains in the dark – both figuratively and literally. On July 21, 2006, I wrote again to Mr. Burke to express my outrage. I also wrote a letter to House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis and Ranking Member Henry Waxman, requesting that the federal government investigate how the blackout happened, why it happened, and what must be done to reduce the vulnerability of the power grid in the nation’s most prominent terrorist target.



Still, I so far haven’t even heard Con Ed say a simple ‘I'm sorry.’

More in Energy & Environment

Clean power plan will only improve our electric power system

Read more »