The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas on June 20, 1973 · Page 5
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The Brazosport Facts from Freeport, Texas · Page 5

Freeport, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 20, 1973
Page 5
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VouVe read or heard about the shortage of electricity in San Antonio and Austin. Ywir Light Company wants you to know whatfc happening here. For many years we have used natural gas as the fuel to product: your electricity. Today the over all demands for natural gas are increasing more rapidly than new supplies are being discovered and produced. Some pipelines which supplv gas for in-state use are unable to deliver their customers' full requirements. Because there isn't enough gas to go around, the Texas Railroad Commission has srt priorities to determine how the available natural gas is to IK* divided among various classes ol users. Bui these priorities don't increase the total amount of gas available, and many industries and electric power companies that use natural gas are not getting the amount thev need. Thai includes us. From time to time deliveries of gas to one ol our principal suppliers have been curtailed bv a company from which our supplier buvs gas. "I'his has resulted in reduced deliveries of gas to us. So far, we've been able to make up the deficiency by burning the emergency supplies of fuel oil at some of our plants. But this is strictly a stopgap measure, because at present only about one-third of our generators are equipped to burn fuel oil, and that for short periods of time only. Moreover, the quantity of oil in storage is limited, and replacement fuel oil is in very short supply, What about other fuels? Almost all of the new generators we will put into operation during the 1973-1977 period will be capable of using either natural gas or fuel oil — or a combination. We are also converting a number of our present generators to burn either fuel. But this conversion program will take several years, because only a few generators can be taken out of service at any one time. In addition, we're studying the use of coat for new generating units— those that will go into operation in 1978 and 1979. Flow about nuclear power? Well, this year, /vlhnrnig hro •^t'ar<> aj design und engineering \tiulifs. the Fight Company will apply to the Atomic Knergy Commission lor a license to build our First nuclear generating plant. But licensing and construction of this plant will take another seven years. We're also participating in advanced research devoted to developing alternate Fuels through coal gasification and desulphuri/.ation. We're looking into new types of generation including: (1) fast breeder nuclear reactor, (2)fusion reaction. (3) solar energy. However, none of these are anticipated to be commercially feasible or available for many years to come. For the foreseeable future we must rely upon gas, oil, coal and nuclear fuel to produce the electric energy this area needs. How did the natural gas shortage slip up on us? —"'-"'""---" " LTiL-.-n-T- ^1 •-••-.. - £ iMinrirnr ^ LIT- __j..--- • — It didn't. In the early 1960's we signed long-term contracts tor all the natural gas we would need through 1984, and through a continuing expansion program, we've kept our electric generating capacity adequate for this area's needs. So we have the generators and the contracts for fuel to run them. The problem is that now, for the first time, we cannot be sure of getting all the fuel we've contracted for. Our natural gas suppliers are cooperating fully with us in attempting to provide us with the fuel we need. We are convinced thev will be able to do so unless action is taken by an / agency of either the federal or state government which would, in effect, preempt gas our suppliers have committed to us. Where do we go from here? Although your electric service wasn't affected, we've already experienced a number of partial curtailments of our gas supply. And we want you to be aware that a severe and long- lasting reduction in our gas supply might make it necessary for us to ask you to help out by reducing your use of electricity. We are doing our utmost to prevent this —but it could happen. So now is the time for all of us to think about the ways we use electricity. And to make sure we're not using any more than we really need. We'll keep you informed. The Light Company will keep you informed of developments in our fuel situation. The Light ipiuiy Houston Lighting& Rawer

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