Even though it's unlikely that the kind of electricity crisis that turned the lights out Thursday in much of the northeastern United States could happen here, Kentuckians still need to be concerned about the condition of the nation's power grid.
Executives of the Danville-based Inter-County Energy Cooperative pointed out in an interview Friday that because power used in Kentucky is generated within the state, it's unlikely that residents could face the kind of "cascading" failure in the grid that knocked out power from New York City to Detroit.
But as Americans learned after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., the economic and political impact of such disasters, both natural and man-made, in the nation's heavily populated areas do "cascade" across the country, and that's likely to be the case this time as well.
Judging from the political rhetoric both from President Bush, who said it was his opinion that the power grid needs to be "modernized," and from leading Democrats, who did their best to imply that Bush and the Republicans were to blame from the outage, Thursday's blackout is likely to become the issue du jour this fall in the nation's capital. Unfortunately, the rhetoric so far is shedding more heat than light on the issue.