Ominous Power Lines

Energy Disruptions

A changing climate affects how much energy is produced, delivered, and consumed in the United States. Changes in temperature, precipitation, sea level, and the frequency and severity of extreme events have the ability to damage energy infrastructure, resulting in energy shortages that harm the economy and disrupt people's daily lives. For example, more than 100 oil drilling platforms and 558 pipelines were damaged in 2005 by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 

Not all areas of the US face the same threats from a changing climate and the energy infrastructure in each is vulnerable to climate-related impacts.

Learn More

  • The figure below shows how a substantial portion of US energy facilities located on the Gulf Coasts and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes and other storms and sea level rise.

  • The graphic below shows power plants in California that are susceptible to sea level rise by type and size.

What you can do

  • October is Energy Action Month, take a few easy steps to help make sure that you’re not burning through your heating budget, and that heat—and your money—is staying inside of your home, rather than leaking out into the cold.

Sources

  • EPA. 2016. "Climate Impacts on Energy." Accessed October 4. https://www.epa.gov/climate-impacts/climate-impacts-energy 
  • DOE. 2015. "Map: How Climate Change Threatens America's Energy Infrastructure in Every Region." Accessed October 4. http://energy.gov/articles/map-how-climate-change-threatens-america-s-energy-infrastructure-every-region
  • NCA. 2014. "Energy Supply and Use." Accessed October 4. http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/sectors/energy 
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