Friday, June 02, 2006

POWER POLITICS

Next Tuesday, Springfield voters will take their second crack at a plan to build a coal-fired energy plant. City Utilities failed to pass a similar plan in August 2004.

Ozarks bloggers (would the local comunity be called the Blozarks?) are starting to take sides in the debate. Andy @ Rhetorica says he's voting "no" because:
... efficiency and cost are certainly not the only (or the most important) considerations, although that's the way this issue has been played ...

We in the Ozarks have far too much invested in our streams and lakes to allow them to be fouled by coal.
Michael Soetaert at Holy Grail Press is another naysayer:
The reason I will vote no is precisely because there is no long term plan.

Whereas there is talk about solar and wind farms, along with other futuristic energy sources, they are not practical yet, and may never be. However, they will never exist as long as there is a cheap alternative. And that's what it's all about. Coal is cheap.

Vote NO. Not for cheap energy, but for City Utilities' having no real plan for the future. Vote NO for a bandaid that only masks the real problem: The need for clean, safe, renewable energy. The need for a real plan for the future.
Holy nonsense, Holy Grail! The ones without a plan are the people who say CU is gaming the entire issue, coal is dirty, conservation will solve the problem, let's do anything but build a coal-fired energy plant.

Michael Soetaert, Andy Cline, Donna Bergen -- and others who wave the environmental banner -- need to answer a few questions. Starting with this one: How many of you are putting your money where your mouth is, and signing up for wind-generated electricity offered by City Utilities?

Yes, it costs more. But that seems to be what Soetaert advocates -- clean energy that gets us off the cheap coal teat. Funny that only a couple hundred CU customers (out of 110,000) take advantage of the program.

We're voting "yes" on Tuesday. Not because we want more pollution, but because we believe in the art of the possible, and we like CU's rates. And, frankly, we're voting "yes" because we're sick of the hypocrisy of so-called "progressives" on the energy issue.

They complain about pollution from coal while driving to the corner grocery. They dismiss nuclear power as too dangerous to consider. They say they want wind power, but they don't buy it when it's available, and they'd probably bitch about aesthetic blight if someone proposed erecting a local wind farm.

10 comments:

John Stone said...

Well, I am voting NO too. But wind and conservation are only part answers.

CU does not play well with the other children in the neighborhood. They like to play their own game because .. well .. because they can. So the other kids stick it up their ass whenever they can.

But the biggest reason is money. By voting yes we are not only committing ourselves to maybe as much as a billion dollars of debt, and only SGF will be responsible, not everyone who benefits from CU ...and there is a huge hidden cost. Sometime down the road, certainly within ten years there will be requirements for carbon capture of emissions. This will cost (my guess) another half-billion dollars.

There is an alternative if that $200 million is burning a hole in CU's pocket. Nukes ... there are present plants operating (the fast neutron reactors) that use 90% of the fuel rather than 20% in water reactors, and produce waste with half-lives measured in hundreds of years rather than tens of thousands, minimizing the waste problems. But it takes playing with other kids on the block to form a consortium to build it. AND ... perhaps most importantly, it would not be totally controlled from the offices on Central Street.

Ron Davis said...

Stoner:

So when the coal-fired plant is voted down, and utility rates go higher because we're purchasing more outside power and not generating as much for local use, you will NOT bitch about money, right?

Odd, innit, that two alleged "libruls" like us are touting nukes?

John Stone said...

Yeah, it is .. but like the Housing Department we have discovered our mistakes and are setting them right ... wish everyone did.

Any way you cut it the costs of power will go up. Right now there is plenty of power available, and there is still active bidding on the grid. It depends on whether or not a supplier wants to stick it to you or not. Right now, CU has a overproduction 325 days of the year which it sells to the grid. On the other 40 days of the year we do have aa peaking problem .. which was supposed to be solved by the gas turbines we bought some years ago ... that went down the tubes when the gas bandits put a gun to everyone's head.

Now we are proposing to build another base-load supply for that 40 days??? Doesn't make any sence to me ... even looking into my crystal ball thirty years in the future. (Hell, I can't tell you what I will be doing tomorrow).

Actually, even with all the regulatory costs nukes are still the cheapest power .. cheaper even than hydro... we got to wean ourselves away from fear of the word nuleaurerer ....

A.McSholty said...

I have a feeling we could power Springfield and half of Branson just on the hot air Matt and Roy Blunt generate.

Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Ron... re: What we progressives drive around the block... you know what I drive :-)

Anonymous said...

And one other thing... I am also pro-nuke.

--A. Cline (forgot to sign previous comment)

Ron Davis said...

Anon/Andy:

You realize, of course, that by supporting nukes, we (you, me, Stoner) are all on the progressive blacklist.

So, do you subscribe to CU's WindCurrent program?

Granny Geek said...

Granny and Gentle Ben are supporters of nukes, too. The French have gotten THAT right! And right now, they're working on fission (as opposed to fusion).

Anonymous said...

re: wind power... of course not...it's merely a feel-good program with no real impact. I make a far greater impact on the environment by driving very litte.

--A. Cline

Anonymous said...

Besides, windmills are hard on birds!