Extreme Winter Weather, Power Outages Spark Unprecedented Energy Demand

Date: 2021-02-16 17:12:17

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The energy crisis crippling power grids across the U.S. showed no sign of abating on Tuesday morning as blackouts left almost 5 million customers without electricity during unprecedented cold weather.

To prevent the collapse of their networks, suppliers from North Dakota to Texas are having to institute rolling power cuts for the second consecutive day to limit demand. The severe shortages are likely to continue throughout Tuesday, and the deep freeze is forecast to remain until Wednesday at least.

Officials have reported two people dead, likely from cold, according to the Associated Press. Medical centers are rushing to administer vaccines before they go bad. Flights are grounded. More than a million barrels a day of oil and 10 billion cubic feet of gas production are shut and massive refineries have halted gasoline and diesel output.

The Southwest Power Pool, which controls a grid spanning 14 states from North Dakota to Oklahoma, ordered rotating outages for a second consecutive day. President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for Texas, making more resources available to help.

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