Still Without an Explanation Brazil Government Refuses to Talk About Blackout

Blackout in EspÀ­rito Santo, Brazil For Brazil's chief of staff and hand-picked candidate to succeed president Lula, minister Dilma Roussef, the massive 18-state blackout suffered by Brazil Tuesday night cannot be compared to what happened in 2001, during the administration of the previous president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

"Brazil today is completely different from that Brazil that suffered eight months of rationing. First, we have more than enough energy. At that time there wasn't enough energy, there was rationing."

The minister is in favor of an inquiry to find out who is responsible for the power failure. She wants the Brazilian energy authority, Aneel to investigate what happened: "Why is it important that Aneel look into this? Aneel is going to punish. If it discovers who is responsible, its duty is to punish."

Roussef stated, however, that she would not quarrel about the blackout causes. "I'm not getting into this kind of polemic. I'm not interested in that. You cannot politicize something so serious for the country", she argued.

"I'm not going to comment on what the opposition is saying.
The day before the governor of São Paulo, José Serra, likely her main opponent in the presidency race in next year's elections blamed the Lula administration and their lack of investment in the energy sector for the huge blackout.

Earlier the minister of Mines and Energy,  Edison Lobão, had said there was nothing to add to the episode. "Our system is completely recovered. For the government, this episode is closed," he stated.
"We looked for the cause of the problem," he added, "and we found a fast solution. The system is reliable and robust. This subject is finished."

On Tuesday, he had blamed lightnings, rain and strong winds for the blackout. Brazil's National Institute of Space Studies (Inpe), however, concluded that the chances that a meteorolical phenomenon triggered the blackout are very slim. 

The minister of Institutional Relations, Alexandre Padilha, also criticized some members in Congress who wish to summon Rousseff and Lobão to talk abou the power failure.

"The important thing is to not politicize a debate like this. We cannot politicize an accident. Any attempt of politicizing this episode is going to last less than the incident itself," said Padilha.

The Energy Ministry's executive secretary, Marcio Zimmermann, told reporters that the storm took out three transmission lines running from the Itaipu hydroelectric dam on the Brazil-Paraguay border.

Much of the southern half of Brazil, including the three largest cities, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, were without power Tuesday night. All of Paraguay was blacked out for a brief period.

Officials say the Itaipu plant was shut down completely for several hours. The malfunction caused a loss of about 17,000 megawatts to the national electricity grid.

The blackout knocked out traffic signals and subway service, snarling traffic and forced evening commuters to abandon train cars. There were also reports of a spike in robberies on city streets.

But the director of the Brazilian Center for Infrastructure Studies, Adriano Pires, says the problem is that Brazil has failed to maintain its power lines, saying a storm alone should not cause such a massive power outage.

The Itaipu hydroelectric plant, which is the largest operational dam in the world, returned to normal production early Wednesday. It was the first time all generators had to be shut down because the transmission lines were non operational.



  • Show Comments (10)

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Has anyone entertained the idea that the Israelis may be sending a message, a warning, regarding Brazil’s flirtation with Iran?[/quote]

    I did and conveyed the same sentiments to Ricardo Amaral in one of the threads in the sister magazine :D. I thought it occurred during the visit of Shimon Peres . Hopefully he was not affected while in Brasilia, though I heard that DF was also affected by the power outage.

  • Brazuca

    Has anyone entertained the idea that the Israelis may be sending a message, a warning, regarding Brazil’s flirtation with Iran?

  • João da Silva

    DU 48
    [quote]Even PT are daring to question Lightbulb’s blackout explanation. [/quote]

    Finally the PT mustered up some courage? It is time for them to display some independence and not sit and wait for the instructions from their big boss.

    [quote]Maybe Marina Silva’s got a point when she say’s it’s time for BR to back alternative energy, rather than relying on one system alone.[/quote]

    Marina Silva has as much as knowledge about “alternative energy” as her potential rival Dilma & that “Light Bulb”,Marta,Ideli, etc; They all think that Brasilian engineers and technicians are a bunch of clowns and they have to dance according to the music of the politicians. PT does have some good technocrats, though and I À‚´d love to see an alternative candidate other than the same whiners who complain a lot and not solve anything. Just like their counterparts in ARENA/PDS/PFL-MDB/PSDB/PMDB. As you rightly said, what is in a name? 😀

  • DU 48

    ARENA>PDS>PFL>PMDB>? what’s in a name?
    I was half expecting someone would notice the lawyer bit-It had to be you,JDaS…Don’t think Lightbulb ever practised as a lawyer-he didn’t need to with SirNey pulling the strings in MA.
    Even PT are daring to question Lightbulb’s blackout explanation.
    Maybe Marina Silva’s got a point when she say’s it’s time for BR to back alternative energy, rather than relying on one system alone.(HEP) Estadao 14th NOV.

  • João da Silva

    DU 48
    [quote]I rest my case… [/quote]

    You cant do that yet! BTW, “lightbulb” is also supposed to be a lawyer. 🙂

    Another thing that really pissed me off for the past two days is the news that the government is going to give away cell phones to the beneficiaries of “Bolsa Familia” for 9.90 Reais. This project is from the minister of Telecommunications who is not supposed to be from PDS/ARENA, but a card holding member of PMDB . You also failed to mention that Sir Ney and “Light bulb” now belong to PMDB. One “Grande AlianÀƒ§a DemocrÀƒ¡tica” as envisaged by Ulysses GuimarÀƒ£es. 🙁

  • DU 48

    Thomas Edison ‘lightbulb’ Lobao- Maranhao wolf howling in the dark
    A journalist and SirNey’s protege via Arena and PDS, ‘in charge’ of energy:I rest my case…

  • João da Silva

    Vinny, my dear fellow. Its an old news. Ricardo Amaral talked about hackers in the sister magazine. I am aware of it, since I do know a few good “Technocrat Brasilians” who contributed to the building of Itaipu. I don’t think that the ex-minister as well as the current Minister of “Mines and Energy” know what the heck is going on. They would probably like to put the blame on “Cosmic Interference”. “NÀƒ£o fui eu” is the motto. 🙂 😉 😀 😉

  • VinnyCarioca

    CBS News
    Recently, 60 Minutes did a report on cyber attacks on Brazil in 2005 and 2007:

  • marly

    The chink in Lula’s Teflon armour is when there is a problem, just don’t talk about it and it will go away……corruption scandals, Sarney’s follies, rampant crime in Rio, runway and radar problems in aviation sector and now this…anything not to tarnish his 80% approval rating….typical hubris

  • Zico

    More BS
    Someone turned off the lights, literally. Typical Brazilian culture for everyone (theoretically) responsible to simply make politcal statements and no one do anything. How can the people running the plant not know what happened. Bananas.

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