Expanding the energy portfolio: Utilities awaken

coalEvery month our local power cooperstive, Blue Grass Energy, sends us its superbly put together magazine, Kentucky Living, filled with helpful tips on home maintenance, gardening, recipes, recommended books, regional activities, events, etc.

With all its feel good staples, it’s easy to lose sight of its primary purpose as a public relations gimmick to elicit the public’s support. Your power company is on your side, helping you enjoy the good life, offering some of the lowest energy costs in the nation, largely through the state’s substantial coal reserves.

Its editorials, however, consistently make clear that this good life is under a black cloud via the EPA’s increasingly heavy hand, encouraged by Obama’s executive decisions restricting power plant emissions at heavy local cost and marginalization of its coal resources. In its use of coal as their primary energy source, states like Kentucky, not wealthy by any yardstick, will bear a larger cost burden than other states, which they simply can’t afford, the utilities say.

Tuesday is election day and according to the latest polls, Mitch McConnell. is poised to be reelected to yet another term and possibly become senate majority leader, meaning still more congressional gridlock.

Mitch says, “I strongly oppose the EPA’s efforts to shut down Kentucky’s coal industry. I will fight to ensure the future of existing coal-fired power plants.”

He has announced that one his priorities will be to defund the EPA.

His main opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, touted as the Democrats’ best shot at ending McConnell’s perennial reign, has simply been a mirror to McConnell on coal issues and climate change. She has even resorted to ludicrously painting McConnell as unfriendly to the state’s coal industry, including miners, even though they’ve repeatedly come to his defense.

As for Libertarian candidate, David Patterson, he tells us that “CO2 is not a pollutant in the quantities seen today.”

Fortunately, aside from the usual debacle of politics, Kentucky utilities are starting to get the message, with movement underway to harvest clean, alternative technologies. The East Kentucky Power Cooperative, for example (which affects our household) has invested $1.7 billion to help clean-up carbon emissions at its coal-fired power plants.

With the hand-writing on the wall, Kentucky’s utilities are pursuing a diverse energy grid, including not only natural gas, but solar, wind, hydro and landfill gas.

All of this will impose increased costs, but the alternative in the context of the exponential menace of climate change makes these efforts of acquiring a diverse energy portfolio least costly in the long term.

–rj

 

 

 

 

About RJ

Retired English prof (Ph. D., UNC), who likes to garden, blog, pursue languages (especially Spanish) and to share in serious discussion on vital issues such as global warming, the role of government, energy alternatives, etc. Am a vegan and, yes, a tree hugger enthusiastically. If you write me, I'll answer.
This entry was posted in Environment, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s