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Not enough pipelines leads to natural gas brownout in Thumb

Mr. Bologna/Flickr.com

Consumers Energy says there's plenty of natural gas.

But in the thumb of Michigan, there are not enough pipelines - and that led to an unusual request from the company on  Thursday.

Consumers asked farmers who use natural gas-fueled blowers to dry their grain to temporarily hold off on the activity during daylight hours.

Consumers Energy spokesman Dan Bishop says an unusually late harvest combined with an unusually early cold snap to create the spike in demand.

He says the utility is in talks with elected officials about plans to build new pipelines to the thumb area of the state.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.