Changing climate poses threat to power plants, US report says

Power plants across the country are at increased risk of temporary shutdown and reduced power generation as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise and water becomes less available, the Department of Energy said Thursday.

By 2030, there will be nearly $1 trillion in energy assets in the Gulf region alone at risk from increasingly costly extreme hurricanes and sea-level rises, according to the Energy Department report on the impact of climate change on .

"As President Obama said in his speech last month, climate change is happening," said spokeswoman April Saylor in a statement. "As climate change makes the weather more extreme, we have a to prepare the country for its effects."

The report calls on federal, state and local governments to more urgently prepare - particularly coal, natural gas and - for the compounded risks posed by floods, storms, wildfires and droughts.

"All of our science goes in one direction: the damages are going to get worse," said DOE assistant secretary Jonathan Pershing. "It will take dozens of actors from government and private sectors planning what to do and how to make it cost effective."

The report notes that have increased 1.5 degrees since 1900. More than 130 costing $1 billion or more in damage have occurred since 1980.

It says that 2012 was the second most expensive year for weather and climate disasters, with $115 billion in damage from Hurricane Sandy and extended drought.

Higher , costing consumers $45 billion, will require an additional 34 of new in the western United States by 2050. And as infrastructure ages, storm-related power outages are likely to become increasingly frequent, at an annual cost of $20 billion to $50 billion.

"More and more communities are analyzing vulnerabilities and their risks, and developing plans in response to those risks," said Brian Holland of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. Holland said more state and federal support is needed for communities, who also pursue private funding.

Greenpeace USA spokesman Robert Gardner said the administration's focus should primarily be transitioning to wind and solar technology, not relying on fossil fuels and nuclear energy.

"The question is why the Department of Energy is really focusing on continuing the problem which has caused this tidal wave of global warming," said Gardner.

Benjamin Cole of the American Energy Alliance, which lobbies for oil and natural gas, said that climate predictions should not be used to justify the "sweeping changes" of Obama's energy proposals, and that alternative energy has not yet lived up to promises.

"We can't continue to dole out money we don't have," for alternative energy, he said.

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Jul 12, 2013
More scare tactics from those who must keep the dollars flowing in their direction or starve.

For example: "The question is why the Department of Energy is really focusing on continuing the problem which has caused this tidal wave of global warming," said Gardner.

WHat tidal wave of global warming? Yes the earth has warmed less than 1 deg C/century for over a century as it warmed from the little ice age, and that warming has not accelerated. In fact, the evidence, and the apparent travesty, is no warming for at least 15 years. All this while the CO2 concentration has increased from 0.028% to 0.040%, and the all models and modelers continue to forecast doom and gloom.

There is no evidence of accelerating global sea level rise over the past century. The evidence also tells us that cyclonic storm energy is down, globally. The world, and especially the deserts, are greening w/ the extra CO2 fertilization.

Things are no where near as bad as these doomsters wish.

Jul 12, 2013
Ouch ! where did you get your facts ?

Jul 12, 2013
more greenie BS

Jul 12, 2013
The damage and cost from these AGW Alamists lies will make that from all natural weather events, pale in comparison. Well, at least, their False Prophet Gore will be the first CO2 billionaire.

Jul 13, 2013
Greenpeace may want more wind and solar and that's not a bad idea, but they are both prone to storm damage. They may be nice but most renewable power plants aren't real tough. High winds, hail, too much rain damages both. Tidal buoy power might be effective, if anchored strong enough and deep enough, if we can ever get it deployed.

The responsible answer is to redesign more "hardened" natural gas fired plants that incorporate more weather resistant designs and buried utilities.

Jul 15, 2013
Ouch ! where did you get your facts ?

From his nether regions, as usual.

That's from whence you came, so you should know.

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