LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES
Interview With Jennifer Granholm
Aired August 15, 2003 - 20:01 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to move to Michigan now where we're talking about five counties, including Metro Detroit, are under a state of emergency. The governor has ordered an extra gasoline supply amid reports of long lines, shortages, and even price gouging.
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm joins us now live from East Lansing. Governor, we appreciate your time this evening.
GOV. JENNIFER GRANHOLM, MICHIGAN: You bet. Thanks.
PHILLIPS: Well, put things into perspective for us. We talked about the orders that are now in for all these extra supplies. How did this all begin? Tell me how the planning process moved forward.
GRANHOLM: Well, I think that 9/11 actually gave us a good ability for people to work together, so we've had an extraordinary series of events that have caused people not just to demonstrate their great citizenship toward one another but local units of government to work together in an extraordinary way.
I did declare a state of emergency. We are still not up. We are not as lucky as New York. We've got about 55 percent of the citizens who were down are still -- are back up, so we've got about 45 percent who are still without power.
However, the good news is that people have really come together and the local units of government and the first responders have coordinated in a way that we have never before seen.
So we've been able to get, for example, from the private sector 750,000 bottles of water donated because our water supply system in Detroit was down. We've had gasoline supplies shipped across as demonstration of good will. We've had food donated and brought in, obviously citizen action has taken place and has been remarkable. So, despite the bad news there's an awful lot of good news in this scenario.
PHILLIPS: Governor, you mentioned just that you were prepared for this. You mentioned 9/11 and, you know, state by state so many of the governments have been organizing these rehearsals, emergency management rehearsals. Had you been doing that?
GRANHOLM: Yes, we had been. We staged a number of tabletop exercises, as they call them, so that we would be able to prepare in case there were -- and respond. The vertical and the horizontal communication has been really amazing. We've got such a web, a network of communication going that it has been very quick, very nimble and we've been able to get help to people who need it most.
PHILLIPS: What about preventing something like this in the future? Are you launching any investigations? Are you looking into your power supply in maybe a different way that you hadn't before?
GRANHOLM: Yes. I think it's causing all of us to ask what happened? Our public service commission, which is the entity that regulates the utilities, the gas and electric utilities, is going to be having hearings starting Monday. I know that the president is also doing the same thing.
I think that the bottom line is that we do have old transmission grids in Michigan. We haven't seen a new investment in the upgrading of the transmission for 20 years. The question is we've got different entities that now own transmission. In Michigan, the people who own the transmission system are out of state and are not necessarily here or accountable.
So, this issue of who owns the transmission, who owns the generation, who owns the distribution all of those are issues we're going to have to look at and look at carefully to make sure that we can invest in transmission in the future.
PHILLIPS: Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm as your state is under a state of emergency we sure appreciate your time tonight.
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