Report: Sandy Just a Harbinger of Worse Storms to Come

'Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,’ reads open letter to American people.

By Tom Johnson, NJ Spotlight

It is no secret that Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New Jersey power's grid, leaving millions of customers without electricity -- many for a week or longer.

Get used to it, warns a new report.

Extreme weather is likely to increase not only in frequency but intensity, and the nation’s energy facilities will continue to suffer major disruptions, particularly those located in coastal regions, according to a draft National Climate Assessment report.

The likely consequences of those storms and of a warmer planet will be to ramp up peak electricity demand in regions like the Northeast, requiring additional generation and distribution facilities to be built, the report said. For consumers, that could mean as much as an 11 percent jump in bills, according to a separate study cited in the nearly 1,000-page report.

In New Jersey, consumer advocates have already warned of higher energy bills as the state’s gas and electric utilities invest hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrading, rebuilding, and possibly moving key elements of their infrastructure away from the flooding that contributed to power outages last fall.

“Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,’’ the authors of the report cautioned in a letter to the American people.

Continue reading this article at NJ Spotlight.com

Art Vatsky February 25, 2013 at 03:58 AM
By burning vast amounts of fossil fuels, we have been messing with Mother Nature for more than a century. Now Mother Nature is messing with us. We have given her the power to change the weather and raise sea level. Only slowing down our energy consumption may delay the onset of the conditions that trigger future megastorms. The NJ Clean Energy Program is helping to do that. NJ is so small we cannot afford to lose its shore line yet it is now at risk. How many times can we rebuild it?


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