Top News: This week, President Obama startled both his allies and critics with a plan to permit drilling for oil off the Southern Atlantic states and in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile the Secret Service, in a stroke of karmic justice, denied the president’s request for a hybrid limo.
Wising Up to the Smart Grid: After years of talk and speculation, several big U.S. companies revealed that the smart grid lies at the center of their business plans. At the New York Auto Show, Ford and Microsoft announced energy-management software designed for the thousands of people who will plug in their electric cars or hybrids at home. Connecticut Light & Power applied for permission to scrap its flat-rate price structure in favor of one that penalizes customers for overloading the grid. Under the proposal, Connecticut electricity would be ten times cheaper at night than it would be in the middle of the day, when the A/C units are cranking.