De Blasio scorched on Twitter for asking New Yorkers to cut power usage in heat wave

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For many New Yorkers dealing with searing temperatures amid a brutal heat wave, it may have been asking too much.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday requested that city residents try to limit their consumption of electricity in order to avoid power outages.

“We need New Yorkers to take IMMEDIATE action,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “Reduce your use of electricity in your home or your business for the rest of the day. We need to avoid energy disruptions during this heat emergency.”

“The extreme heat will hopefully break early tomorrow [Thursday] morning,” he wrote in a subsequent message. Let’s get to that point safely.”

At a news conference, de Blasio called for New Yorkers to reduce their use of air conditioning as well as washers, dryers and household appliances, Newsweek reported.

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John Scrivani, New York City’s emergency management commissioner, told reporters that the city had already seen a power outage in a Brooklyn neighborhood that left 1,700 residents without electricity, the report said.

Some Twitter users noted that New York state in April had seen the shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of the city, after nearly 60 years of operation.

Others wondered if de Blasio would be making the same sacrifice request with high energy consumers such as those who operate the many neon advertisements at Times Square in Manhattan.

The lights of Times Square in New York City.

“It’s reprehensible you’d rather people not be able to breathe, than dim unnecessary things like ads/electric signage,” one Twitter user wrote. “Companies can get a refund/credit. People can’t be brought back from the dead. Shut down offices, make people in mansions pick a room.”

“Absolutely disgraceful,” another wrote. “Is this NYC or some North Korean province.”

“Babe my apartment is 80 degrees WITH air conditioners on right now, lights off, and curtains over all the windows. How bout we look for other things to turn off, no?”

“You downgraded your grid by shutting down Indian Point for no reason,” another user wrote. “In Tennessee we run on nuclear power and we don’t have to shut down over a 90 degree day – which is almost every day in summer here.”

Earlier in the week, de Blasio – who will be leaving office in the months ahead because of term limits — faced some awkward silence after trying to crack jokes at a Tuesday news conference alongside Caroline Hirsch, founder of the Carolines on Broadway comedy club in the city.

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“I just want to volunteer, I have an incredible new act where I just eat food live. … It’s kind of like modern art and comedy together,” De Blasio said.

“Will you give me an audition?” he asked Hirsch. “I really think I’ve figured out my next act. Get it? Get it? That was funny, wasn’t it?” he said, prompting laughter only from Hirsch.

Last Saturday, de Blasio was mocked online after posting a photo of himself in a loud summer shirt, plus a hat and sunglasses. 

“The future of New York City is so bright I gotta wear shades!” he tweeted, borrowing the words to an old pop song.

City residents quickly reminded de Blasio about the city’s rising crime problem – which has many of them moving elsewhere.


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