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Think about ‘true’ costs of electricity

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I would like to respond Steve Van Dyke letter (Aug. 23) about keeping coal in the mix.

Why these power companies continue to be so short-sighted is beyond me. If they spent the same amount of money and time on green energy as they do defending coal power there wouldn’t be any coal burners left. Stop and think about this: The amount of money being spent on these campaigns certainly runs into the hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars. Where do they get this money? Right out of your pocket. If the same amount of money was placed on building geo-thermal, wind and solar generators your energy costs would be going down instead of up.

It is unconscionable that these power industry executives continue to rake in huge paychecks and bonuses on the backs of the consumer all the while making decisions that will hurt the consumer in the end. It appears that many of these people have failed to glean the lessons of our economic downturn. Making choices that boost your short-term bonus often has huge consequences down the line. The reason why these companies continue down this path is because coal makes them the most money at the moment.

The initial cost of building green energy is high, but remember since these are technologies the costs go down. We don’t pay to bring a fuel in for any of the green energy methods, there is less maintenance costs with the green methods, there are no disposal of fuel costs with green methods. No one will die under a collapsed solar mine, no one is going to get black lung from wind turbines. We have to think about the “true” costs of our electricity.

The solution is so simple. We can incorporate our electrical generation into our homes, we can build homes with solar, wind and geo-thermal. We can switch base-load over to geo-thermal and supplement with wind and solar. We can build a smart grid that can store energy and shift loads as needed, we could even add local power backups into homes and neighborhoods to help during peak load times. We need to stop looking into the past and began to look to the future.

Chris Asendorf

Bemidji

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