Sierra Club warns about gas over-reliance in California

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Thursday, February 6, 2014
Los Angeles, CA - Today the California Independent System Operator issued a grid warning notice, asking Californians to cut down on electricity usage after cold weather in other parts of the U.S. caused a shortage of available natural gas and forced Californian gas-fired power plant operators to scramble for reserves.

Evan Gillespie, Director of the Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign, issued the following statement in response:

 “Today’s flex alert shows how our over-reliance on gas-fired power is threatening the reliability of our electric system. All too common spikes and dips in the gas market can jeopardize reliability here in California, and dependence on gas-fired power plants opens us up to more price shocks and potential outages.

“Gov. Brown and California’s Public Utility Commission should take note of today’s flex alert. Rather than rushing to approve new gas plants that will make our grid even more vulnerable, the Commission should focus on using existing local clean energy technology, like energy storage, energy efficiency, and renewable energy, to build a cleaner and more reliable electric grid.

“The Commission should take immediate action to reduce dependence on gas-fired power. With the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station retired, the Commission must reject utility requests to build even more risky gas-fired plants, and instead rely on clean energy resources. By increasing our use of local clean energy, California can move to a more modern, reliable, and cost-effective energy grid.”

About My Generation

The Sierra Club’s My Generation Campaign is a statewide effort to ensure that every Californian is able to enjoy the access and benefits that come from the use of affordable, local clean renewable sources of energy, thereby reducing our overall reliance on dangerous fossil fuels. To read more about the My Generation campaign, visit

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