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People

Electricity Woes Continue to Dog Golden State
by Pamela McLaren

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From Dateline (September 25, 2003)

Robert Michaels
Robert Michaels, professor of economics and an expert on the electrical industry, stands inside the university’s switch gear station from where electrical power is distributed throughout the campus. The substation was constructed in 1995 as part of the electrical/telecommunications infrastructure project.

With the recent power outages on the East Coast reminding Californians of the 2001 power crisis, Dateline turned to Robert Michaels, professor of economics and an expert on the electrical industry, to find out if the state has learned anything from the rolling blackouts of two years ago.

Michaels has served as an energy consultant and authored numerous articles on the electricity and natural gas industries. He’s testified before the California Public Utilities Commission, as well as the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

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 Q&A with Michaels

• Robert Michaels

• Briefly, what was the difference between what occurred on the East Coast and what happened two years ago in California?

• Was deregulation to blame?

• Could the situation happen again?

• Can this be changed?


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