I have great sympathy for the people of Connecticut who have suffered so many power troubles in the last six months.
This report from USA Today sheds some light on the issue.
Having worked with a number of utilities during my career, I can report that when utilities trim trees, the trees’ owners are indignant, report the utility to the state’s utility commissions, file complaints with city councils, etc., etc. It seems as if the utilities can’t win on this one.
So, if states wish to hold utilities accountable for electric service reliability, then they must stop all the nonsense related to tree-timming. The politicians cannot have it both ways.
More on the topic of the federal government’s role in electrical reliability here.