The election of Donald Trump as president has sparked a wave of protests in states across the country, and an investigation by The Associated Press has revealed that the utilities that make up the backbone of the nation’s electrical grid face unprecedented challenges to service the nation.
In addition to the federal probes, state and local governments have also been scrambling to meet the needs of their residents as they grapple with the impact of the storm.
On Wednesday, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill requiring the state’s electric utilities to provide power to a “living” customer when their power grid is damaged.
In Pennsylvania, Gov.
Tom Wolf, a Republican, signed a similar bill, though he has not released a timeline for when it would take effect.
States like New York and Maryland have also announced plans to cut power to residents in the wake of the hurricanes.
While the Trump administration has acknowledged that the storms will likely result in fewer blackouts, it has said the federal government should be given more authority to help the utilities rebuild.
The utility industry, meanwhile, has begun working with the government to assess the damages and identify potential solutions to help those most in need.
The AP’s findings suggest that the Trump-era push to help utilities is not working.
The companies are not being required to offer customers the same basic service and are not given enough notice that they might be out of power for longer than expected, the AP found.
Some utilities are being forced to take additional measures, such as turning off the air conditioning when a customer goes to sleep, to protect against overheating.
The American Electric Power Association said it was disappointed in the AP’s analysis, but would not comment further.
A spokeswoman for the group said the company is working with local, state, and federal authorities to help restore power and that the AP should not use the company’s words as evidence of its commitment to its customers.”AEP is confident that its members and customers can continue to provide our customers with the same level of service as they have for the past decade,” the spokeswoman said.
The Associated Press obtained the APs investigation through a public records request.
The AP reviewed more than 50 pages of state and municipal communications from the utility industry.