, sent a letter to Massachusetts energy providers today indicating dismay at the continuing power outages in the state.
The full text of the letter follows:
Dear Massachusetts Energy Providers,
I write to you today to express my concerns with the preparations for and ongoing response to the significant power outages that have occurred across Massachusetts as a result of this weekend’s early winter storm. I join with hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts consumers in expressing my outrage at the current situation.
The early arrival of winter was not a surprise. The storm had been forecast ahead of time. Yet it appears you did not have adequate contingency plans and the necessary assets in place in order to quickly assess, respond, and repair downed power lines in their respective service areas. I have received reports from municipal authorities and residents frustrated by the limited number of trucks and crews that have been dispatched to their area since Saturday. Our state’s utilities received similar criticism during the response to Hurricane Irene and I am concerned that lessons learned from that storm have already been forgotten. It is imperative that residents have access to timely and reliable information on when crews will reach their streets and restore power to their homes and communities. With that in mind, I hope you will provide answers to the following questions:
What improvements to public outreach, damage assessment, and storm preparation and response have been made in the wake of Hurricane Irene?
How have those improvements been applied to the current response to this weekend’s storm and if not, why haven’t they been implemented?
What are you currently doing to remedy the problem?
As temperatures continue to drop, reliable electrical power can become a matter of life and death, especially for our most vulnerable citizens. I look forward to your response to these important questions. My office stands ready to assist you, and please let me know how we can help support your hardworking crews as they continue the efforts to dig out.
Scott P. Brown
United States Senator