Missouri, Illinois to probe utility response to power outages

Full story: Journal-Gazette

Missouri and Illinois officials are calling on an electric utility to explain why thousands of customers remained without power a week after a harsh winter storm and offer solutions to prevent another extended ...

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Explanation

Decatur, IL

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#1
Dec 8, 2006
 
What do they want explained? Why don't the officials explain why they weren't there at the beginning of all this. Where were they and where were their "bright" ideas. This country is supposed to work together, not against one another. It's a shame as to what this world has come to. People remain without power because (a) the meterologists said the storm wasn't going to hit central Illinois/Missouri hard with ice, only snow - so do you start the blame there (b) utility companies cannot control the wrath of mother nature when she hits so hard. So, what are the bright ideas they have since come up with "after the fact"?
Viva Fiume

Hillsboro, MO

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#2
Dec 9, 2006
 
Seems pretty simple, doesn't it?
1) Bad weather happens.
2) Crap falls on power lines, power lines break, poles fall, etc.
3) The power companies work as fast as possible to fix all of the problems and restore power.

Smacks of the same sort of populist political opportunism that we saw when market forces drove the gas prices up. Politicians know that it is easy to convince the great unwashed that there is some big evil company out there that is somehow screwing them over. Since a significant portion of the population already believes that if someone is making a profit they are automatically guilty of wrongdoing, it scores political points.

Should they discover that the power companies did indeed have a meeting in a smoke-filled back room somewhere and agreed to delay power as long as they could for some kooky reason... I guess I'll eat my words. For now, I agree completely with Explanation!!
Reply to Viva Fiume

Decatur, IL

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#3
Dec 11, 2006
 
Seems we're the only seeing the REAL picture. If people are going to vent, they have that right, however, think before you speak. Also, remember the saying "actions speak louder than words"! So where were their actions to help themselves and mankind in a time of need ?????
Viva Fiume

Hillsboro, MO

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#4
Dec 11, 2006
 
Were they not working on the problem?(CIPS in your region, correct?)
TomT

United States

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#5
Dec 11, 2006
 
In St. Louis, they were throwing rocks at the Ameren-UE trucks. I would pull off and leave their asses in the dark and cold.
Poor Little Rich Boy

Edwardsville, IL

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#6
Dec 11, 2006
 
Here is what the top Ameren execs earn:
Gary L. Rainwater Chairman, President, & CEO $2,915,964
Warner L. Baxter Executive VP and CFO $1,422,671
T.R. Voss COO & EVP $1,474,079
Why should anyone earn this much to run a public utility? This doesn't even include their stock options. The execs earn more than the company spends trimming trees! People can't afford to throw out their food (again), they can't afford to take off work (again), they can't afford hotels (again). When you can't run your furnance in the dead of winter, your home gets damaged. People died in this storm. The climate in this area is relatively mild. This isn't Canada. Why are we having these outages? Why can't the millionaires keep the lights on? It is their job. That is why they earn the big bucks. So they should figure it out.
Viva Fiume

Hillsboro, MO

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#7
Dec 11, 2006
 
So... the problem is that someone else earns more money than you do. Could it be that it just simply takes time to fix all of the problems? Or perhaps that people have failed to plan ahead and have a few days emergency supplies in case of disaster? No! Of course not!! Screw personal responsibility, much easier to whine about how much money someone else makes. What a load of crap!
Viva Fiume

Hillsboro, MO

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#8
Dec 11, 2006
 
TomT wrote:
In St. Louis, they were throwing rocks at the Ameren-UE trucks. I would pull off and leave their asses in the dark and cold.
Really? Holy crap! I would have the same reaction, Tom. Guess it is a good thing that neither of us are linemen. We have certainly become a nation of helpless, selfish candy-asses.
To Viva Fiume

Edwardsville, IL

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#9
Dec 11, 2006
 
Could it be that the company spends more money paying its executives than trimming trees? Research it. That is exactly what is going on. The issue is that the company is hoarding profits and ignoring infrastructure maintenance. And have you checked out the economy lately? Do you think everyone can hoard canned goods, buy generators and fill them at $2.37 a gallon? My co-worker was spending $50 a day running a generator. Sometimes personal responsibility costs money, and even responsible people might not have enough.
Gardener

United States

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#10
Dec 12, 2006
 
What was your friend trying to power? My generator runs for about 6 hours between refills, I figure about a two gallon tank, even at $2.50, that works out to about $20. Could it be that many, many trees that fell on power lines were the responsibility of the property owner where they were located to trim? Although Ameren may be a public utility, it is a private corporation owned by stockholders, those are a lot of little people like you and me. I agree that some of the executive salaries are exhorbitant, but that is the responsibility of the board of directors, who are elected by the stockholders. Oh, and Viva Fiume, you forgot lazy.....
To Gardener

Edwardsville, IL

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#11
Dec 12, 2006
 
My friend lives in a 100% electric powered home as gas lines are not available in all areas of Belleville. He was running a 5 gallon generator. There are no trees whatsoever on his property. The Ameren board is the highest paid in the St. Louis area. They vote the execs nice little salaries, don't they? And the stockholders are being paid, so what do they care. And I'm not sure that Ameren is really controlled by "the little guy." I'm sure corporate investors have a lot of control as to the execs, who also have a hefty stock option package. Joe Shareholder has no real influence in how the company compensates its employees.
Question

Decatur, IL

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#12
Dec 13, 2006
 
I would like to know why the politicians are complaining about the utility companies moving slowing during this terrible ice storm, when the city's tree service has done "very" minimal clean up and said it may take several months - why is that ok? Seems like double standards to me, but then again we are talking about politicians.
snitch

AOL

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#13
Dec 13, 2006
 
Sure, Ameren may have cut some corners. But, some trees tht fell and branches too, are outside of the utilities right of way to trim. I was without power for about 3.5 days. Trees in my area were trimmed. Lets see, we had ice, then some rain that froze as it landed on those iced power lines, then more ice........ It was a mess like I havent seen in years. And I was not in the worse part of it. When I drove north to work on Monday I was way surprised at how bad it still was there. I
dont care how much or how little those execs make, they could not have stopped this. If you really believe they could have, I have a candy coated bridge to sell you. Did it create hardships? Yep. Did it cost some lives? Yep, though mostly out of stupidity; burning charcoal in a closed up shed! But by and large, the blame cannot be laid at the utilities feet in this storm. It is called life folks.
And those who tossed rocks at those workers should be locked up! Those people worked unbelievably hard to restore power as quickly as possible! If it hadnt been so cold my hat would have been off to them!
Be Fair

Edwardsville, IL

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#14
Dec 13, 2006
 
I lose power in just about every Summer storm. Sometimes just a few hours, usually longer. I lost power for 2 days last May, 7 days in July and 4 days recently. Over the years I have thrown out a LOT of food. In July we finally bought a generator big enough to power a window unit AC, refridgerator, medical equipment plus a couple of lamps. It does cost $35-45 a day to operate. Ameren cannot be to blame for the weather, but a better plan of action would be nice. One that would restore power more quickly. As far as the trees go, perhaps the phone and cable companies using the same poles could help out. Also, individual towns could put an ordinance in place concerning trees. If the trees are the main problems, it's not ONLY Ameren's responsibility, but that of the homeowner and town.
TomT

United States

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#15
Dec 14, 2006
 
Be Fair wrote:
I lose power in just about every Summer storm. Sometimes just a few hours, usually longer. I lost power for 2 days last May, 7 days in July and 4 days recently. Over the years I have thrown out a LOT of food. In July we finally bought a generator big enough to power a window unit AC, refridgerator, medical equipment plus a couple of lamps. It does cost $35-45 a day to operate. Ameren cannot be to blame for the weather, but a better plan of action would be nice. One that would restore power more quickly. As far as the trees go, perhaps the phone and cable companies using the same poles could help out. Also, individual towns could put an ordinance in place concerning trees. If the trees are the main problems, it's not ONLY Ameren's responsibility, but that of the homeowner and town.
Maybe when some of those folks that have closed access to alleyways or won't let you do more than take a snip out of their trees when trimming for power lines,realize that you got to give a little to get a little, things might get better. I worked for a power company in our town in Kennett and you cannot control the weather. You cannot control people's actions either but you can persuade them. Ameren's hands were tied in several ways with this. Very seldom do we get weather like that but when you do, be prepared for the worst. I even heard one guy bitching about the fact they were repairing the "big power lines before they got to his house. How tha hell does he think he could have power if they didn't repair the lines feeding his house. He even mentioned once that maybe it was because he was black.(grrrr)

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