Droughts In Western States Driving Up Emissions When Utilities Forced To Switch From Hydro To Fossil Fuels, Has Cost Billions Past 20 Years

When drought-stricken rivers and reservoirs run low across the American West, hydropower dries up and utilities fire up hundreds of power plants that burn coal, oil, or natural gas to keep up with demand for electricity. The timing couldn’t be worse, as accompanying heat waves drive up energy use, often to power air conditioners.

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