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Bitter cold and natural gas shortages shutter auto plants

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Bitter cold and natural gas shortages shutter auto plants
« on: January 31, 2019, 11:11:57 AM »

Auto plants and other big energy users throughout Southeast Michigan are shutting down or limiting operations due to a natural gas shortage caused by a fire and frigid weather.

Eighteen factories and other facilities run by General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler were affected Thursday. It's not clear when they'll resume normal operations.

General Motors suspended operations at factories in Flint, Lansing, Saginaw, Pontiac, Orion Township and Bay City, Michigan. The Flint plant is gearing up for the launch of new heavy-duty pickup trucks. Even General Motors' sprawling technical center in Warren, Michigan, north of Detroit, was closed and its roughly 20,000 employees were told to stay home. About 30,000 employees were affected at GM alone.

Only factories served by Jackson, Michigan-based Consumers Energy were affected. Plants powered by the region's other utility, DTE Energy, had no disruptions.

Consumers Energy's CEO Patti Poppe made an appeal Wednesday night for customers to reduce their natural gas usage. Localized outages were possible for some homes and businesses if demand isn't reduced.

An emergency alert was sent late Wednesday to cellphones asking people to lower thermostats to 65 degrees (18 degrees Celsius) or below through Friday. And Consumers Energy asked its largest business customers, such as automakers, to reduce natural gas usage.

No one was injured in the fire Wednesday at Consumers Energy's Ray Natural Gas Compressor Station in Macomb County. The cause of the fire was under investigation. The company said all gas flow from the station was shut off, and that it activated natural gas peaking storage fields to help meet demand for gas to heat homes and businesses.

DTE Energy, meanwhile, also asked Michigan customers to help "safeguard the reliability of the regional energy grid" by voluntarily reducing electricity use.



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Re: Bitter cold and natural gas shortages shutter auto plants
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 02:53:45 PM »
More gas shortages...

Extreme Cold Straining Xcel Energy’s Natural Gas System, Residents Urged To Turn Down Thermostat

« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 03:00:32 PM by aktony »