Friday, January 18, 2008

Con Ed Steamed Over Idea To Cool It

In the wake of last July’s deadly steam pipe explosion in midtown, some here are openly questioning whether steam is still vital for power generation. Currently, steam accounts for only 5% of Con Ed’s business. So, if steam service has been reduced to this level, why not completely? For several reasons, chief among them being public safety and maintenance costs, it seems logical to replace this century-old system with electric or other technologies. Yet, Con Ed spokesman Bob McGee declared, “Doing without the steam system in New York’s energy mix would be like commuters doing without the subway.” That poor analogy alone is enough to warrant independent study! Maybe the time has come to shut down the 105 miles of potential steam pipe bombs under the streets of Manhattan … and the hot air that escapes those who seek to justify it’s necessity.