Steve Brill:

In the wake of the prolonged power outages following last week’s severe thunderstorms in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, I hope someone will revisit this story idea from last November about local utilities paring down their own maintenance crews and making deals with other utilities to share crews from across North America when there’s an emergency. Yesterday morning I heard the CEO of PEPCO, the DC-area electric company, casually explain the delays in an interview on CNN by saying that full power restoration awaited the arrival of borrowed crews from as far away as Canada. It was as if no longer having enough local workers on hand was as much an act of God as the storms.