Updated: Welcome to the future, boys!

BP just handed me a link to this Fast Company story which lays out a history of Entergy failures and alleged corruption in “service” of its Louisiana customers.  ‘Seemed more than worthy of inclusion here on GMD.


There’s nothing like the Super Bowl to command media attention.  

That’s why CEO’s will sell their firstborn to buy ad time, and Madison Avenue touts outdo each other to make their multi-million dollar seconds the ones everyone remembers.

But this year’s Superbowl standout had to be the 34 minute power outage, sponsored by none other than Entergy New Orleans.  

Yes, that same Entergy; or at least its evil twin.

Of course, Entergy has blamed a failure of equipment at the Superdome for the outage, and insists power was flowing to the stadium at the time the lights blinked out.  Nevertheless, at least at my house, there were knowingly raised eyebrows.

So what is the take-away from this blockbuster power poop-out?  Maybe it’s just a reminder that we all had better be prepared for some spectacular failures as consumption inevitably ticks up with the return of economic vitality, and aging transmission infrastructure continues to decline under the questionable stewardship of “private enterprise.”  

It’s only a coincidence that Entergy New Orleans played a role in the Superbowl blackout just as we revisited the whopper told by Entergy Louisiana to our own Public Service Board; but it did my heart good to imagine Entergy executives fanning away palpitations up in their mink-lined sky box, knowing full well what the coming week has in store for them.

About Sue Prent

Artist/Writer/Activist living in St. Albans, Vermont with my husband since 1983. I was born in Chicago; moved to Montreal in 1969; lived there and in Berlin, W. Germany until we finally settled in St. Albans.

11 thoughts on “Updated: Welcome to the future, boys!

  1. And yes, it was Entergy’s fault, not the Superdome’s:

    …early indications from Entergy, the local electric company, are that the power outage was the result of a problem in one of the two feeder lines that power the stadium from an external substation.

    I’d like to think that someone at the NRC’s press office, upon hearing the word “Entergy,” reflexively issued a statement assuring us that there was “no threat to public health or safety.”  

  2. [..]it did my heart good to imagine Entergy executives fanning away palpitations up in their mink-lined sky box, knowing full well what the coming week has in store for them.

    I must admit I was smirking…thanks for the laugh Sue! Of all the things this Superbowl will be noted for-an over 1/2 hour blackout in their hometown of all things, Entergy will wear this one forever, love it.

  3. that sources say Entergy, not Superdome staff, was in control of the breakers that initiated the power failure.

    Not surprisingly, Entergy was having nothing to say about this new revelation.

  4. Super Bowl Outage and Vermont Yankee

    Feb 5, 2013 by Sandy Levine  |

    -added emphasis

    Keeping the lights on shouldn’t be this difficult. The response by Entergy to the outage at the Super Bowl is very reminiscent of the responses by Entergy to the many problems at its Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. It boils down to a piece of equipment failed and the power went out. A repeated problem at Vermont Yankee has been equipment failures – from cooling tower collapses to leaking pipes.


    Entergy has money to keep four law firms employed working on the case. That money would be better spent closing the plant and cleaning up the site.

    -Sandy Levine, CLF

  5. on what metric you use for ‘reliable’:

    Entergy’s first instinct, as usual, was to insist  “It’s not us.  It’s someone else’s fault.”  


    I’d say they are very reliable, when it comes to ducking responsibility…

  6. Superdome at the time the outage occurred. It was VERY obvious that a transformer blew nearby – there a big flash of blue light, just down the street. I wish I could find the video, now.  

  7. have a Google Alert, and probably a mechanical Turk for that sort of thing.

    But it is setup only for news bites that hit on Friday afternoon. So they’ll miss this one… and will have to update their filters.

  8. Huffington Post story brings the drama closer:

    -emphasis added

    NEW ORLEANS – The Super Bowl was halted for 34 minutes because of a power outage Sunday night, plunging parts of the Superdome into darkness and briefly leaving TV viewers of the biggest game of the year with no football and no explanation why.

    The Baltimore Ravens were leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6 when most of the lights in the 73,000-seat building went out with 13:22 left in the third quarter.

    Auxiliary power kept the playing field from going totally dark, but escalators stopped working and the concourses were only illuminated by small banks of lights tied in to emergency service.

    Surprised they didn’t blame Beyonce:

    [..]It occurred shortly after Beyonce put on a 12-minute halftime show that featured extravagant lighting and video effects.


  9. Entergy may find themselves with a nice fat lawsuit of their own.

    Battle of the Titans: NFL vs. Entergy.  Popcorn optional.

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