Nov 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

California expands natural gas supply amid energy crunch

A silhouette of oil pump jacks against an orange sky.

Pump jacks are seen at dawn in an oil field near Lost Hills, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

California's public utilities commission approved a plan Thursday to expand the capacity of a key gas storage facility by more than 20%, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Despite aggressive moves in recent years to get away from reliance on fossil fuels, a spate of devastating wildfires amid ongoing drought threatens California's energy grid, causing the state falling back on natural gas.

  • California set a goal of producing electricity from only clean sources by 2045.
  • The move to expand the Aliso Canyon underground storage facility comes amid calls to shutter the site outright, per Reuters.

Context: The Aliso Canyon facility is the state's largest underground storage field.

What they're saying: "We continue to move forward on planning how to reduce or eliminate the use of Aliso Canyon, and to ultimately reduce our reliance entirely on such natural gas infrastructure as we transition to a clean energy economy," CPUC Commissioner Martha Guzman Aceves said in a statement, per Reuters.

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