Environment: Solving the Power Problem

According to the U.S. Office of Emergency Preparedness, much of the nation faces a shortage of electricity this summer. Power failures may afflict Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis-St. Paul, plus most of the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Georgia. All these areas can expect regular "brownouts"—voltage reductions that dim lights, slow the whir of air conditioners to a whisper and obscure TV pictures with blizzards of snow.

The prediction has already been confirmed in embarrassing ways. Early this month, after mustering power-company executives to discuss the problem, New York State's Public Service...

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