Superdome Blackout: 'Green' Bragging Backfires on Obama Team

Monday, 04 Feb 2013 09:54 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Before Sunday night's 33-minute power outage at the Super Bowl, the U.S. Department of Energy had touted the football extravaganza as the "greenest Super Bowl" where "eco-friendly fans" compete to "maximize sustainability." It was the latest green "success" of the Obama administration, which has included Solyndra, First Solar and Sun Power.

A little more than 90 seconds into the third quarter, the lights at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans went out. A stadium of 73,000 fans and millions of viewers at home were left in the dark.

The DOE had published a press release via Energy.gov a day before the widely televised event, bragging that this year's big game is a green energy feat.

"To make this the greenest Super Bowl, the New Orleans Host Committee has partnered with fans and the community to offset energy use across the major Super Bowl venues," DOE Public Affairs Specialist John Horst said.

In the statement, Horst claimed the Superdome's exterior 26,000-plus LED lights draw only 10 kilowatts of electricity, which is the equivalent of what a small home uses in energy. He added that the lights will last for many years before needing replacement.

"The push to re-invent this destination city contributes to making Sunday’s game the greenest in Super Bowl history," he said.

On Twitter, many quipped about the agency's claims during the blackout.

Responding to the DOE's earlier tweet that said "Learn how #SuperBowl host city embraces #energy efficiency on & off the football field," @CrankyTRex tweeted "By turning it off," while @nikkigee fired "Nice demo!"

Entergy, the Philadelphia-based company that manages the Superdome's power, said the blackout was caused by a monitoring device that sensed an abnormality in the electrical system. Once the abnormality was detected, the sensing equipment opened a breaker, triggering power to be partially cut to the Superdome until the issue was isolated and resolved.

In addition to delaying the game for 33 minutes, the blackout halted the momentum of the Baltimore Ravens, who were leading the San Francisco 49ers 28-6. The break was what the Niners needed to stage a comeback and give the team a 17-point surge.

Despite the 49ers' second-half surge, the Ravens beefed up their defense and won 34-31.

Related stories:

Lights Out: Ravens Beat 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl

What Caused Power Outage at Super Bowl Still Being Investigated

New Orleans Mayor: Super Bowl Power Failure an ‘Unfortunate Moment'

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