The Iowa Industrial Energy Group says state officials should act to ensure the state isn’t at risk of blackouts like the massive outage that hit northeastern states last week. Executive Director Nancy Boyd says more than two-dozen manufacturers and other businesses make up the group. Those businesses are high users of energy, and concerned about the reliability of the electric transmission system. Boyd says states including Iowa should look beyond their borders to ensure a system of reliable power. She says electrons aren’t confined to one state within the overall power “grid.” She says the physics of electricity doesn’t respect boundary lines, and power’s clearly part of interstate commerce, so oversight based only on state boundaries won’t work. As states from Ohio eastward form post-blackout teams, Boyd says we need someone who can mind the entire system.Boyd says we need more than areas that say “I’ve done my part,” we need cooperation between states and regions. The issues involved aren’t parochial, she says, they’re much larger physically and from a public-policy standpoint. The Industrial Energy Group’s position is that even state regulation shouldn’t take priority over joint endeavors that create reliable power systems across state and regional lines.
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