“There’s no question that extreme weather events are creating greater demand for electricity in this country, primarily through air conditioning load,” Matheson further said, according to Fox News. “You’ve got this circumstance for reliability being put into question by this increased demand, where, at the same time, we’re reducing our supply. Extreme weather is clearly one of the factors that’s causing it,” the former Utah congressman added. The unreliability poses a threat to large sections of American power grids and could lead to a situation like the 2021 Texas power grid crisis, when winter storms slowed down electricity production, leading to widespread outages in-state, according to Fox News. The failure of state authorities to ensure that the power supply was immune to colder weather contributed to the crisis, the New York Times and the Texas Tribune reported. Matheson said in the case of the present risks to the grids in the western United States, the government can take some action to help avert a similar crisis. “There are limits in terms of number of hours per year certain facilities can operate for environmental purposes,” Matheson said. “The Secretary of Energy or the EPA could waive some of those restrictions to allow for greater use of existing assets to meet these periods of shortfall,” he continued, according to Fox News. “So, there is something right here you could do in summer of 2022 to help mitigate the situation a little, but there’s a lot more investments [that are] going to have to [be] made in the long run.” Other solutions, according to Fox News, would be improving data sharing between power producers so they can work together to avert a crisis. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
A report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation warned that the West and Midwest are at heightened risk for reliability challenges and energy shortfalls, meaning the tens of millions of Americans in these regions could face blackouts and brownouts this summer. pic.twitter.com/BIycXcHipq— Senate GOP Policy (@SenateRPC) July 13, 2022