Environmental Group Says Hurricane Is Highlighting A Failure Of Power & Leadership

STATE – With millions of New Jersey residents still waiting for electricity to be restored days after Hurricane Sandy devastated many parts of the Garden State, the New Jersey Sierra Club took aim at the state’s Board of Public Utilities and the state’s electric providers.

“The failure of the utilities to protect our grid from the storm or have a quick response puts us all at risk and will lead to big losses in jobs and economic activity in our state,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Not having power for weeks at a time turns us into a third world nation where people boil their water on their outdoor grills and heat their home with fireplaces while reading by candle. We have seen people dying as a result of no power and using generators. The storm caused enough damage and now we have the utilities bring the state to its knees.”

During the recovery process, BPU has been largely invisible, holding no press conferences and providing no updates on the power restoration process.  The utilities failed to protect the power lines and electrical infrastructure in the first place and now they are unable to properly manage the impacts and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the New Jersey Sierra Club contends.  BPU needs to make significant changes to prevent this issues from occurring time after time as we see more severe storms each year.

“The BPU is the ‘Board of Promoting Utilities’. They seem to care more about utilities making money than protecting customers and rate payers. There has been a complete power failure from them in holding utilities accountable for blackouts,” said Tittel. “The Governor has been hiring former prosecutors to run the BPU, maybe they should at least prosecute the utilities for malfeasance.”

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