Energy: Dim Prediction

Maybe by '86, say utilities

As early as 1979, North American output of electricity will fall short of demand, starting in the Southeast, then in other areas, until by 1986 power shortages will become almost nationwide and stretch into Canada. That is the forecast of the National Electric Reliability Council, an organization composed of virtually all U.S. and many Canadian power companies. William McCollam Jr., chairman of the NERC, bluntly summarizes: "You're going to have curtailments, brownouts, blackouts."

Why? Primarily, says the NERC, because "overlapping and conflicting" Government regulations delay construction of generating and transmission facilities. The utilities especially complain that "lack of...

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