Canada–U.S. Power System Outage Task Force Releases Interim Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, and Spencer Abraham, U.S. Secretary of Energy, today released the Interim Report of the Canada–U.S. Power System Outage Task Force. This report identifies the causes of the August 14, 2003 blackout.

The Interim Report assesses conditions on the electric transmission grid that contributed to the blackout; outlines the actual physical causes of the outage; and discusses events and conditions that allowed the blackout to spread.

“The Interim Report presents the findings of the working groups from our two countries regarding the causes of the blackout,” said Minister Dhaliwal. “The report does not speculate or make assumptions that are not justifiable by the evidence. I am confident that the working groups have used accurate facts in building their analysis.”

The Interim Report sets the stage for the next phase of the process — the development of recommendations aimed at reducing the possibility of future outages. As one part of this process, in early December, the public and stakeholders in both countries will be asked to give their comments on the report and their views on enhancing the reliability of the electricity system. The Final Report of the Task Force will focus on identifying specific recommendations to reduce the likelihood of future blackouts and bolster the reliability of the electricity infrastructure.

The Canada–U.S. Power System Outage Task Force was established by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and President George W. Bush to identify the causes of the recent power outage that affected North America, and to make recommendations towards preventing future outages.

For more information, media may contact:

Alexandra Muir
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
(613) 947-8246
Ghyslain Charron
Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
(613) 992-4447
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