If a hurricane is headed your way, you surely have a lot on your mind. Knowing the energy infrastructure risks in your area may be one more thing to throw in there.
The US Energy Information Administration has some great interactive maps for that if you are in the US. The name of the tool is the US Energy Mapping System. It "shows all the major energy infrastructure for any given address in the US," Bobby Magill of Climate Central writes. "It allows anyone to look closely at what power plants, refineries, oil wells, power lines and other installations might exist in a place that is vulnerable to extreme weather."
Storm surges, flooding, dangerous winds, and falling trees offer plenty of concern on their own, but being aware of potential oil, natural gas, or nuclear risks in your area can be useful in preparing for extreme weather and planning an evacuation if need be.With strong hurricanes coming sooner than ever, and superstorms hitting some places, some awareness about our surrounding energy infrastructure is probably more important than ever.
Removing the whole issue of extreme weather, I think it's simply interesting to have a stroll around this map in order to get a better understanding of what is going on in your region. As Magill notes, there's plenty of data on most of the facilities on the map.
“All of the nation’s 6,026 electrical power plants and 1,598 active coal mines are linked directly to statistics and graphs of annual and monthly production for each facility,” Mark Elbert, EIA program manager for the mapping system, said.
From the coal mines of West Virginia (above) to the solar power plants of New Jersey to the strange webs of natural gas pipelines that spread erratically across the country, the map gives an interesting visual representation of our country's energy infrastructure and related matters.