Bill proposed to bury D.C.’s power lines

Andrew Mollenbeck,

WASHINGTON – The way forward in addressing power outages may be to look down.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has already called Pepco’s response to the latest storm “unacceptable,” and he opened the door to burying power lines in the city.

On Tuesday, Councilmember Jack Evans, Ward 2, took up the cause by introducing a bill that considers burying all power lines within the District.

At the heart of the proposal is a work group made up of members from the mayor’s office, the council and Pepco.

Most estimates for burying power lines in the District suggest such a project would cost $5 billion.

The work group would be tasked with figuring out how realistic it is to bury the power lines and how to pay for it.

Evan’s bill asks the group to have a plan in place by Dec. 31.

Last month’s storm was the impetus to the renewed effort to bury the power lines.

Evans says the city cannot continue on its current course, where residents may go a week or more without power.

He says the areas least affected by the “derecho” storm were those that have underground lines.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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