Coal is the answer
Some believe solar and wind can replace coal-by-wire electricity because they think coal pollutes (“Coal quandary,” Feb. 23). Yet Avista’s Palouse Wind Farm shut completely for one January week due to lack of wind, and the 4,500 megawatts of wind generation feeding the Bonneville Power Administration grid produced at less than 1 percent of capacity during 19.5 days.
Solar energy offers no benefit against Northwest winters. Although Gov. Jay Inslee cites battling carbon dioxide, is it reasonable to ask Avista’s 358,000 customers to sacrifice inexpensive coal-generated electricity for unreliable, expensive renewable power that risks weekslong winter power outages during calm wind? Such an intolerable option needlessly endangers public safety. Coal is nonexplosive, unlike railroad oil tankers or pipelined natural gas. Coal is inert, transports safely and is the United State’s largest natural resource.
The climate change, anti-carbon dioxide, anti-coal argument was always worthless for several reasons. The key climate predictor is the temperature increase, if any, should atmospheric carbon dioxide double, yet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 809 experts and 50 editors of “ClimateChange2013” with Ph.D.s from 38 countries can neither agree on evidence nor foretell a temperature. The answer to the quandary is easy: coal.