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Predictably Unpredictable: Volatility In Future Energy Supply and Price From California's Over-Dependence on Natural Gas

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Publication Date: September 2001

Publisher(s): California Public Interest Research Group. Charitable Trust

Author(s): Brad Heavner; Marianne Zugel

Funder(s): Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation

Funder(s): Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation

Topic: Energy (Electric power)

Keywords: natural gas; electricity

Type: Report

Coverage: California


In response to the California energy crisis of 2000-2001, state policy makers rushed to approve and encourage the construction of as many natural gas power plants as possible. Demand for natural gas across the country is skyrocketing, and domestic supplies are tight. Because California has become more heavily dependent on natural gas for electricity production than any other state (as of late 2001), it is particularly vulnerable to supply disruptions and price volatility. Predictably Unpredictable explains how California is setting itself up for another energy crisis by relying so heavily on one fuel source, and recommends tapping the vast in-state potential for renewable energy instead.