Comments about ‘Letter: Wind power good for U.S.’

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Published: Sunday, July 21 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

With natural gas and wind displacing coal and nuclear energy across the country, many in those industries are promoting myths and outmoded beliefs about renewable energy in an attempt to halt their inevitable growth.

Coal's contribution to electricity in America has dropped from about 50 percent to below 40 percent over the past five years. In Utah, coal is being threatened because California is cutting off its coal contracts by 2025, and IPP is already planning to convert its coal-fired power plant to gas as to not lose its California customers.

Aside from being clean, the risk and economic benefit of wind is its price stability. It will never have a carbon or clean up "tax" that everyone fears over coal and natural gas. With California facing a $1 billion price tag to shut one of its nuclear plants -- a cost that will be SOCIALIZED among all ratepayers -- citizens want price-stable energy that won't have a clean up price tag later on.

Because electricity isn't a free market, the ONLY way to get utilities to switch to cleaner, price-stable energy is by government policies, such as the PTC mentioned here, along with state requirements.

Hayden, ID

Why aren't wind companies prosecuted for killing eagles and other birds?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Thank you for your informative letter. Unfortunately, for many, they'd rather promote their political agenda using factless ideological dogma than allow facts to form and morph their opinions.

So thank you for giving us the facts rather than cheap political points and AM radio vitriol.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Thank you for correcting those inaccuracies (lies) propagated by the "Oil Derrick Huggers"
If we could get more of these farms, like the one by Milford producing for Utah We could set an example as good stewards, instead of a race to the bottom of the hole.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Hayden, ID

Why aren't wind companies prosecuted for killing eagles and other birds?
7:28 a.m. July 21, 2013


Associated bird deaths per year (U.S.)

Feral and domestic cats -- 1 Billion
Power lines -- 130 million to 174 million
Windows (residential and commercial) -- 1 billion
Pesticides -- 70 million
Automobiles -- 60 million to 80 million
Lighted communication towers -- 50 million
Wind turbines -- 40,000

THAT's Why

Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID

Wind turbines DO NOT replace other sources of electricity "1 to 1" because the wind does not always blow. Behind every wind farm there MUST be a traditional power source, or the lights will all go out when winds are calm.

Redundant systems like wind are an unnecessary expense. Money would be better spent on 100% nuclear power. It has a 60 year safety record and works no matter what the weather.

Durham, NC

"Why aren't wind companies prosecuted for killing eagles and other birds?"

Same reason drivers of cars are prosecuted fro killing dear out of season and birds as well. This is a really weak argument. I would start pulling on another straw here.

If killing "nature" is criminalized, and the cost of it is passed on to the rate payer..... just wait to see what your price per barrel ends up being. We could start with how many animals were killed at Deep Sea Horizon, or Exxon mess. We can add the great salt lake spill... the Oklahoma spill.....

And to really cap things off.... lets add up the cost in human life in the Quebec rail accident.

Or even better yet, lets discuss that the oil industry average 30.5 per 100,000 workers (404 fatalities) , approximately seven times the rate for all workers (4.0 per 100,000 workers). We can decide.....birds.... or people. How many were charged for those worker deaths? You worry about birds....

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Thinkin\' Man
Rexburg, ID


A couple problems with your 'Thinkin'

1. Wind turbines DO replace other sources of electricity "1 to 1" - on AVERAGE.
When the wind blows they generate excess and is transmitted to the national power grid.

2. Behind every wind farm there MUST be a traditional power source, or the lights will all go out when winds are calm.
[Just like there already is with coal, natural gas, geo-thermal and hydro. There is no such thing as a single source power grid.]

3. Redundant systems like wind are an unnecessary expense. Money would be better spent on 100% nuclear power. It has a 60 year safety record and works no matter what the weather.
[Redundant systems is precisely what we already have. Coal, natural gas, geo, hydro and nuclear. Wind just ADDS to the established system.
BTW - Nuclear can not ramp up and down with the demand. Every Nuclear system is considered baseline, and must be augmented with either Hydro or coal fed systems for peak loads during the DAY - Which just so happens to be precisely when God made Solar and Wind available to come on line. Co-incidence?]

USS Enterprise, UT

Did any of you liberals bother to look at this woman's credentials? She is from the American Wind Energy Association. Therefore using AGW arguments, she has ZERO credibility. She might as well be from the tobacco industry telling us that cigarettes are not harmful.

Can you liberals explain why we should listen to her propaganda that is only being produced to support a liberal agenda that makes it so that only the wealthy can afford electricity, and that destroys migratory bird routes? Also, why go to wind power when recent studies have shown that the noise is harmful to people too?

Plus, her piece forgets to mention the fact that wind gets over $22/Megawatt Hour in direct subsidies, while nuclear get $1.59 in subsidies. Why keep trying to use a 1700s technology?

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

When someone calls a substance ESSENTIAL for plant life “pollution” they lose all credibility.

Natural gas is NOT a renewable source – nice obfuscation, the same thing you accuse those with whom you disagree of doing.

A carbon “tax” can only come to fruition if the chicken littles of the world have their alarmist way.

Thank YOU for continuing to promote your political agenda – as you accuse others of doing. Is 43% a majority yet?

Thinkin man,
Don’t confuse the alarmists with truth

LDS? Lib,
You say behind every wind farm is a traditional source – OK, so we now have twice the expense. Tell me, are YOU voluntarily paying the additional charge for “green” energy?

Though I do agree with your apparent support of nuclear energy.

Bountiful, UT

Fossil fuels have a limited life span. It makes sense that we begin developing alternatives now. Other alternatives are more use of geothermal, including Yellowstone if we are serious about global warming. New nuclear power plants are engineered to be much saver, they are inherently stable, and not dependent on operators doing the right thing in order that there not be an accident. Conservation is also an other viable option. Cars and other energy users can be made more efficient.

Hayden, ID

@ LDS Liberal. You used fictitious, made up numbers which you can not back up. Wind turbines kill around 600,000 birds annually according to a recently published scholarly article in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. But the number is likely higher. I am not opposed to wind generated electricity but I find it interesting that Exxon-Mobile was fined over one half million dollars recently because 85 birds were killed in an open oil container but nothing is mentioned about the birds windmills kill.

Nan BW
ELder, CO

Is wind energy cost efficient? Does anyone really know the impact they have on birds flight paths, as well as deaths caused by them? How expensive is the maintenance? (We can all see those little stairs each installment has going up to a door to an access to the turning mechanism when it fails.) I don't have the answers, and a doubt very much the author of the article does either, or wouldn't share them if she did.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

Just one honest question to the AM radio listeners...

Exactly why is clean, free, green, renewable energy such a bad thing for us to pursue and for future generations?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I drive past the "wind farm" in the mouth of Spanish Fork canyon several times a week. Rarely are all the turbines working. If there's enough wind for one turbine, why isn't there enough wind for all the turbines? For years, I drove past the Alta Wind Energy Center in Tehachapi Pass near Mohave, CA. The same problem was evident there.

The wind doesn't always blow. When it does blow, not all of the turbines generate electricity. What about the excess electricity? Where is that stored? Is it stored in batteries for future use or do the turbines depend on an exisiting coal or gas grid being nearby so that they can dump their electricity on to that existing grid?

If the goal is to get away from fossil fuels, then how will excess electricity be stored? Unlike coal, gas and water, the wind can't be made to blow when people need power. How is that electricity going to be stored? Who is going to clean up the toxic waste from those batteries?

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "LDS Tree-Hugger" persuing it isn't bad, but adopting an unproven and unreliable technology that requires a redundant power source is bad.

If you want a renewable power source, why not adopt more nuclear power? The fuel is recyclable, it is not dependant on nature for production peaks, and produces no CO2.

The ironic thing is that most of the "tree huggers" are violently opposed to building nuclear power plants.

We should continue to persue green energy, but until it can compete with coal, gas, or nuclear power it should remain in the research lab and for those that want to pay the full market price of the green power sources.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

It seems rather hard to find out exactly what things cost. I love to see a wind farm, but I have read wind is three times the cost of nuclear or coal or natural gas. If so it is not a viable alternative. This article was favorable to wind, but did not seem to have the facts I need to make an opinion.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@lost in DC – “When someone calls a substance ESSENTIAL for plant life “pollution” they lose all credibility.”

Is it credible to point out that (synthetic chemicals notwithstanding) they are ALL natural substances? That’s not the point…

The point is what is the equilibrium balance of any substance needed to sustain the life that evolved in that balance?

Or simpler still – lock yourself in an airtight box tonight and let us know in the morning if this concept of balance of atmospheric gases is still unclear.

@Redshirt1701 – “why not adopt more nuclear power… produces no CO2.”

Wait, I thought CO2 was ESSENTIAL (i.e., totally awesome!)?

You and lost in DC need to get on the same page… one of you didn’t get the talking points memo.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

unlike libs, who get their talking points from msnbc and george soros, redshirt and I do not walk in lock-step. But whether or not nuclear plants produce CO2 is irrelevant to the discussion about whether it is pollution or not. Nice obfuscation. Tactic well learned.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Tyler D" when explaining things to tree huggers, you have to use terms they understand. To say talk in terms of power density, cost, efficiency, and so forth are useless with environmentalists. However, when you start to talk about CO2 emissions, they pay attention. Personally, I don't think that eliminating CO2 emissions will change anything since 98% of CO2 comes from natural sources.

You also have to consider the goal of "green" energy, which is to reduce CO2 emissions. Don't you find it ironic that the best source of power that has no CO2 emissions is not supported by the green energy supporters.

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