On August 14, 2003, the largest blackout in North American history occurred when 61,800 megawatts of electric power was lost in Ontario, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey, affecting an estimated 50 million people and causing an estimated $4 billion to $10 billion (U.S.$)in economic losses.
The impacts of the event demonstrated how critical electric grid reliability is to our modern society. Following an extensive bi-national investigation, the joint U.S.-Canada Power System Outage Task Force recommended that appropriate branches of governments in the United States (U.S.) and Canada make reliability standards mandatory and enforceable.
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