California regulators and utility executives are staring down a natural-gas shortage in the Los Angeles area that could trigger up to two weeks of electrical blackouts this summer, according to a recent article on MarketWatch.com.
The state’s electric grid operator warned recently that it might call for emergency reductions in electricity use when heat waves push up demand for air conditioning. “Without conservation, officials fear power plants could run out of [natural gas] and trigger rolling blackouts,” the article states.
The blackouts would be the latest round of fallout from a catastrophic natural gas leak earlier this year at Aliso Canyon, California’s largest underground natural gas storage facility. That months-long leak forced thousands of Los Angeles-area residents to flee their homes for weeks and caused a massive spike in the emissions of methane, which is a greenhouse gas with 84 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Natural gas is 95 percent methane.
Southern California is vulnerable to energy disruptions because it relies on a complex web of electric transmission lines, gas pipelines and gas storage facilities — all running like clockwork — to get enough electricity, according to the article. “An analysis by California’s energy agencies said the Los Angeles area could suffer localized blackouts on as many as 14 days this summer, unless measures are able to blunt the effect of the gas reduction,” MarketWatch wrote.
To read the MarketWatch.com article, click here.
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