Robert McCartney - Pepco peddles myths about trees, customers' expectations in failing effort to explain its problems:
For years, Pepco's favorite myth was that customers lost power so frequently because the Washington area had so many trees, whose falling branches kept knocking down the lines. It's America's fourth-densest tree canopy, Pepco said. The trade-off for customers was clear: Unless you'd rather give up your trees, we at Pepco can't guarantee you'll have juice.
That myth is now deceased. My Washington Post colleagues Joe Stephens and Mary Pat Flaherty revealed in a major investigative story Sunday on Pepco's outages that the tree canopy in the Washington area is actually average. Moreover, Pepco suffers more outages from its own equipment failures than from tree damage.