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Should We Be Worried About Blackouts During This Weekend’s Heatwave?


Air quality officials voted this week to allow DWP to skirt pollution regulations and burn diesel fuel at several Southern California power plants. Normally the plants run on natural gas, but because of the disastrous blowout at SoCal Gas’s Aliso Canyon storage facility, supply might fall short during summer, when demand for power is typically highest.

We generally get it lucky on the coast with Summer temps, but this weekend is going to be off the charts crazy! On Sunday, just in time for Father’s Day, we’re shooting up into the 90’s!

Are we looking at rolling blackouts? LADWP says no because it has a backup plan, but at what cost?

LADWP has been given special permission to burn diesel fuel to run several of its power plants due to extra low natural gas supplies resulting from the Aliso Canyon fiasco earlier this year, but burning diesel fuel has big consequences for our air quality. For this reason, DWP is supposed to use diesel as a last resort.

On the flip side, the pollution produced by burning diesel to fuel power plants is said to be less than diesel pollution produced by backup generators that hospitals, police stations and businesses would run in the event of a blackout.

To discourage DWP from opting for the diesel burning solution, hefty environmental fees have been attached. Hardly a disincentive, I’d say, when DWP is so comfortable passing through extra costs to its customers. 😉

So, probably no blackouts this weekend, but are we trading temporary comfort for long term consequences air quality? Is this a smart trade-off?

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About Tracy Thrower Conyers

Tracy Thrower Conyers is a long-time resident of Westchester 90045. Tracy closely follows local politics, political players and social chatter relevant to Westchester. As a mom with a school-aged child, Tracy is keenly aware of the importance of the educational choices we make for our kids, and spends a lot of time following local schools. She's active in California's charter school movement, and pays extra attention to special needs education choices and resources. Tracy is also a founding principal in Silicon Beach Properties. Tracy is a recognized expert on Silicon Beach and its impact on residential and residential income real estate, and has been featured by respected media outlets including the LA Times, KPCC and KCET. Tracy's primary focus and expertise includes buying and selling homes and residential income properties in Venice, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey and Westchester. Find more on Tracy and Silicon Beach Properties on sb.p's website. Connect other places online with Tracy: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest.

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