March 6, 2009 in Letters

It’s hard to be green

The Spokesman-Review
 

Wednesday’s (Feb. 24) front-page article in the S-R about waste-to-energy electricity sales points out the ineptitude and hypocrisy of our state and local governments.

Consider the life cycle of a barrel of oil. If that barrel of oil is manufactured into diesel fuel and used at an electrical generation facility, the state of Washington wants to punish such behavior by enacting a carbon cap-and-trade system.

Now, if that same barrel of oil was manufactured into plastic and later tossed in the garbage, it will end up at the waste-to-energy facility, where it will be used for very inefficient electrical generation. The state of Washington wants to reward such behavior and classify this as “green” renewable energy.

Either way, that same barrel of oil ends up in the atmosphere with equal amounts of carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, our politicians and bureaucrats are so shortsighted, they consider the method that produces 70 percent less electricity per carbon atom as “green.”

Perhaps if we just throw the barrel of oil into the garbage before we use it, the state will consider it a renewable energy source. Problem solved.

Craig Sullivan

Spokane


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