AKRON, Ohio - FirstEnergy's top brass have been keeping a low profile, staying out of the media spotlight -- until now.
NewsChannel5 chief investigator Duane Pohlman spoke exclusively with FirstEnergy's top man. Chief Executive Officer and Chairman H. Peter Burg answered some tough questions about last week's massive power outage.
Pohlman waited for hours near Burg's car in the company's parking lot in Akron Monday.
Burg: "First of all, I'm happy that all of our customers are back in service today. That's the No. 1 thing. I'm also interested to see today that the ... and yesterday, in fact, the secretary of the Department of Energy, today, the head of the Federal Regulatory Commission and also, late last night, the head of the Reliability Council, have all said let's get all the facts, gather the data, then we'll come, hopefully, to some kind of a judgment and conclusion on what really caused this event, not only here, but throughout the United States. That's what we gotta wait for.
"By the way, the last guy, the last organization, the Reliability Council -- he's the one in the first place that more or less said something, to the effect that maybe the cause started here. So, it was good to hear him say again, if you will, that it's a little premature.
Pohlman: "One last thing, you said in the news release that the alarm system was not working. Does that concern you?"
Burg: "Well, I think our system was functioning in such a way that our system dispatchers could operate the system. And the independent system operator located in Indiana -- their systems were functioning so ...
Pohlman: "To everyone." Burg: "I really gotta go. I have another meeting.
Pohlman: "One last question, though. To everyone who is blaming Ohio and FirstEnergy -- what's the best thing to say to them, sir?"
Burg: "We're working hard and we want to find the answers to questions. We don't have all the answers to the questions. We want to find the answers to the questions and we're going to do everything we can to help all the authorities find the answers. Thanks very much."
Pohlman said that it will take time to find those answers.
Company insiders say they remain truly puzzled over what really went wrong.