Our community is familiar with those ‘polluting peaker plants’ and the greenhouse gases they emit, such as carbon dioxide.
After all, we earn #OhmHour points for saving electricity when those offending power plants start spewing CO2 into the atmosphere.
What you may be unfamiliar with is that a storage facility in LA that supplies many of those ‘peaker plants’ suffered an enormous methane gas leak earlier this year. This storage facility, located in Aliso Canyon, is intended to supply 17 local gas fired power plants, hospitals, and other entities reliant on natural gas. The leak began back in October 2015 when one of the facility’s 117 wells erupted and started to spew methane into the surrounding air. By the time the leak was patched, an enormous amount of damage was done to both LA’s energy production capabilities and the environment.
The EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) has estimated that the nearly 100,000 tons of methane that leaked had the same 20-year climate impact as if an additional one billion gallons of gasoline were burned by cars. This is because methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Aside from the environmental damage this event caused, the closure of this facility presents the LA region with shorter term difficulties this summer.
This past April, residents were informed of the possibility of rotating blackouts up to 14 days this summer due to the combination of unseasonable heat waves and the electricity shortage caused by Aliso Canyon’s closure.
In order to combat the expected difficulties, the CPUC has authorized a number of initiatives, including more programs like OhmConnect to help create a more flexible and resilient grid. This will help LA stave off the possibility of rolling blackouts, such as the ones endured during the 2001 energy crisis.
What can you do to help?
Over the coming weeks, we may roll out programs to help Los Angeles cope with the stresses it will encounter. If you know anyone who lives in the region, share this email to inform them of the issue and voice your concern to the CPUC.