Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo are taking aim at Con Edison after power outages left a wide swath of Brooklyn without electricity in the middle of a heat wave last night.
"I am extremely disappointed with Con Ed. I’m calling for a full investigation and further that we examine whether we need a new entity to handle this situation going forward because at this point I do not have faith in Con Edison," de Blasio said Monday during an early morning press conference as thousands of customers in the city remained without power.
As New Yorkers braved real-feel temperatures above a hundred degrees, Con Edison could barely keep the lights on.
More than 10,000 customers in Brooklyn remained without power on Monday. It all started Sunday evening when 50,000 customers were left in the dark.
Making matters worse, Con Ed said it preemptively turned the power off for more than 33,000 customers in South East Brooklyn, all in an effort to prevent more outages and restore power. Struggling to make progress, ConEd sent workers out to distribute dry ice to those still without electricity on Monday.
During a rare early morning press conference, de Blasio railed against the company just a week after another power failure left the West Side of Manhattan in the dark.
"Con Ed is very haughty about this. They don’t give real answers and they don’t feel they have to. So, I think it begs the question of whether a private company should continue to provide a service if they are not accountable to the public," de Blasio said.
The mayor, who faced fierce criticism for being out on the campaign trail during last week's blackout, has also called for an investigation and echoed calls by Governor Cuomo to revoke Con Ed's franchise agreement.
The move would be no easy task.
The majority of Public Service Commission, whose members are appointed by the governor, would have to prove the utility failed to provide "safe and adequate" service. Cuomo has threatened to revoke Con Ed's license before, and he said Monday an investigation into the blackout and this weekend's outages should be completed first.
"They can lose their franchise; we have changed public utilities in the past. It's not easy, but we do a lot of things that are not easy and legally, it's totally possible," Cuomo said during an radio interview on Monday.
A spokesperson for Con Ed did not comment on the franchising agreement. In a statement they said they "regret the distress" their customers are under and are working to get them back in service.