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1950

June 6: there is a widespread outage in the Bonneville Power Administration's system in the Pacific Northwest; power plants from British Columbia and Washington to Oregon, Idaho, and Utah and Montana affected. ^_top

1959

August 17: New York City experiences a blackout on one network area. ^_top

1961

June 13: New York City experiences a blackout in four network areas, caused by electric equipment failures. Midtown Manhattan hit hard. ^_top

1963

American engineers in the Northeast complete a massive, 400-mile-long triple conductor line that carries an unprecedented 345-kilovolts of electricity. Swiftly this line becomes a primary source of power for dozens of companies, serving towns and cities from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. New York City and suburban Westchester County together constitute the largest users. ^_top

1965

January 28th, most of Iowa and portions of five other midwestern statesare affected by a blackout; service is restored in only 2.5 hours and the blackout affected only 2 million people. ^_top

April 11th, a tornado hits in Indiana and affects the Upper Mississippi pool; from Indiana, the blackout extended to St. Louis and then to Iowa. ^_top

Tuesday, November 9th, approximately 80,000-square miles of the Northeast, a total of eight states, falls into darkness, as the triple conductor line fails. Begins with a faulty relay in Canada Toronto, the first city afflicted by the blackout, goes dark at 5:15pm. Rochester follows at 5:18pm, then Boston at 5:21pm. New York, finally, loses power at 5:28pm. The failure affects four million homes in the metropolitan area, and leaves between 600,000 and 800,000 people stranded in the city's subway system. Late in the evening, around 11pm, President Lyndon Johnson calls New York Mayor Robert Wagner to offer assistance. "Like a pinched aorta," journalist Theodore White later wrote, the blackout "caused an entire civilization to flicker with it." By midnight, more than 90 percent of subway passengers are freed. By 4:44am the next day, power is restored to Manhattan. ^_top

December 2nd, approximately one million persons in parts of Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico are affected by a power failure in the El Paso area; occured at 8:02pm and lasted for up to 2 hours. ^_top

1966

New York Power Pool (NYPP); formed; in Feb. 1970 it begins to coordinate power flow. ^_top

January 19th, Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) established. ^_top

1967

P-J-M Power disruption. ^_top

1968

National Electric Reliability Council (NERC) formed. ^_top

1970

Clean Air Act of 1970 sets standards for generating plant emissions. Environmental Protection Agency formed in the same year. ^_top

1971

August 18th, in the afternoon there were three near-simultaneous outages in New York State; the New York Power Pool Center weathered the crisis with a minimum of problems; brief cutoff of power to the 200,000 customers of the Long Island Lighting Company. ^_top

1973

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), led by Middle Eastern member nations, enacts the first of a series of price hikes on oil exports to Western countries and declares an oil embargo against the Unites States and The Netherlands. This marks the beginning of the "energy crisis" of the 1970s, in which the price of crude oil rose from $3 to $30 a barrel between 1973 and 1980. ^_top

1974

First drop in electricity sales since 1946; Con Edison cannot pay dividend to shareholders. ^_top

1976

Sunday, July 4, one million people in 85 percent of Utah, plus southerwestern Wyoming, suffered no power from between 1.5 to 6 hours. Cause is a relay that malfunctioned in the switchyard of a Naughton generating plant near Kemmerer, Wyoming, according to Utah Power and Light Company. The incident does not receive wide press attention. ^_top

1977

July 13 &14 - On July 13, 1977, New York City suffered a massive blackout. All five boroughs as well as areas in the northern suburbs of Westchester County were plunged into darkness as lightning downed major transmission power lines supplying power to the metropolitan area. While many dealt with the blackout in a peaceful and neighborly fashion, a number of communities erupted in violence. Looters broke into stores, taking merchandise, and destroying local businesses. In place of the evening glow ordinarily produced by the city's abundant electrical lighting, fires lighted the darkened skyline, leaving charred remnants of once lively neighborhoods. Within the short span of two days, police had arrested 3,766 looters and the city had suffered an economic blow that one estimate placed at more than $300 million. Unlike the 1965 blackout, when the lights went out in 1977 the most distressed neighborhoods of the City endured what Time magazine called "A Night of Terror." ^_top

U.S. Department of Energy formed. ^_top

1978

Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) encourages conservation and the use of alternative energy sources in power generation, thereby removing utility monopoly over generation. In the same year the Supreme Court affirms the ultimate authority of FERC in establish rates. ^_top

1979

Three Mile Island nuclear reactor incident. ^_top


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jts{27 June 2000}