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Canadian Pipeline Explosion Causes Headaches For Local Businesses

A Canadian pipeline explosion is forcing Southern Oregon University to cut back on natural gas usage.

Posted: Oct. 10, 2018 6:34 PM
Updated: Oct. 10, 2018 6:39 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- A Canadian pipeline explosion is forcing Southern Oregon University to cut back on natural gas usage.

Director of Communications Joe Mosley said the university received a notice from Avista early Wednesday morning. 

Mosley said SOU is a bulk customer of the utilities company, which means it gets a discounted rate.

"That's great as far as price goes, but in situations like this where there's a disruption to the line, we can be asked to either voluntarily or there can be a mandatory curtailment as well," Mosley said. 

He said SOU has switched its boilers over to diesel rather than natural gas. 

"It's something we don't like to do because it's more expensive, and it also doesn't burn as cleanly as natural gas, but we can do it for a few days," Mosley said. 

He said this has happened once before.

"It has happened in the middle of the Winter, when it was a much more difficult situation. Right now obvisously we have pretty moderate temperatures, we've only been heating three buildings on campus," Mosley said. 

The Bard's Inn in Ashland also said it received a notice from Avista asking to cut back on natural gas.

Manager Chris Muck said the hotel has been cutting down on the amount of laundry because it has a stockpile of clean laundry it can use.

"When something like this happens it's good to have to that because I mean anything could happen in the Winter, so it's good to be prepared for stuff like this," Muck said. 

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