State leaders continue to grumble about PEPCO's performance in restoring power after a rash of storms the past two weeks. PEPCO leaders will face the Maryland Public Service Commission next week. PEPCO spokesman David Morehead says utility leaders will defend their performance at the hearing, saying the frequency and force of four storms over that past two weeks was unprecedented.
"Quite frankly, when you look at that kind of damage you might tend to think it might take weeks to do," he says. "And we did the first round on July 25th, when we had 300,000 people to restore, we got everyone back up in just under a week. Which really, considering the damage, was quite remarkable."
Maryland leaders aren't as impressed. Gov. Martin O'Malley says power reliability in the Maryland suburbs is now as reliable as it is in developing countries. Appearing on WAMU's the Politics Hour, he says other power companies in the state didn't have as many problems restoring service as PEPCO did.
"I refuse to believe that is all related to weather," says O'Malley. "I mean, the weather does not blow, the wind does not blow seven times as hard and create seven times as many outages here as it does in the BGE catchment area."
The Public Service Commission hearing takes place Tuesday morning in Baltimore.
In 1986, a federal official issued a warning: If Metro continued to expand rapidly, the system faced a future of stark choices over maintaining existing infrastructure. Metro chose expansion. We talk to a historian about that decision. We also hear from a former Metro general manager about the following years, and from an Arlington planner about measuring how riders are responding to SafeTrack.
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