Plumes of steam rise high into the air from Duke Energy's Lake Julian power plant on the morning of Dec. 19, 2020. The plant burns natural gas, emitting water vapor, according to a Duke spokeswoman.

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:

Question: With the Duke Energy plant at Lake Julian, they switched over to natural gas, which is a good thing, but now they are dependent on a pipeline to bring that gas in. In the old days they probably had 30 days’ worth of coal stockpiled on site there. What kind of surplus of natural gas, if any, do they keep on site at Lake Julian now? Do they have tanks on site? How long would they last? If not, what happens if that pipeline goes down like the Colonial Pipeline just did?

Background:Top 10 things to know about Duke Energy’s proposed coal ash landfill at Lake Julian

My answer: I’m sure people will handle any possible power outage with the utmost courtesy and grace, just as they did with the recent gas shortage. And by that, I mean it will turn into “Mad Max Fury Road” within approximately two hours of an outage. I just bought an armored dune buggy and 10,000 rounds of ammo.


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