A drought last week had Federal Power Commission Chairman Leland Olds more worried than any farmer. In the Southeast, electricity depends on water power, and many a rapidly expanding defense industry (aluminum, ferroalloys, etc.) depends on electricity. But the year's rainfall in the Southeast was 50% below normal. The water level in some of TVA's reservoirs was down 60%. Olds made a quick estimate: the drought meant a 1,000,000-kilowatt power shortage in the Southeast before year's end.

So smart Chairman Olds called in TVA officials, officers of the Southeast's private power companies. By...

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