Rocky Mountain Power Doesn’t Like the Suggeston to Ban New Coal-Fired Power Plants

Of course they don’t.  Why would someone who profits off of human needs be FOR something that could potentially diminish their profits?

As a follow up to yesterday’s news that Utah Doctors want to see some action to clean up our air, today’s Deseret News, in
Bad-air warning raises questions, reports that our power company is opposed to that suggestion.

Their [the doctors] position is that bad air along the Wasatch Front amounts to a health crisis that will only grow worse without bold steps. Among steps they propose are a ban on new coal-fired power plants because of mercury the plants release, improved mass transit to reduce vehicles on the road, requiring freeway drivers to slow to 55 miles per hour on smoggy days, and asking school bus drivers not to idle in school yards while waiting for students.

Rocky Mountain Powers’ response:

“If policymakers determine that they do not want electricity generated from coal,” said Rocky Mountain Power spokesman Dave Eskelsen, “we’re going to have to get it somewhere else, and it would be a lot more expensive.”
      What about the physicians’ position that some alternative methods of producing power are no more expensive than coal-burning generators?
Eskelsen said wind power with federal subsidies has come down to a “reasonable range” of dollars spent per kilowatt-hours produced.
But wind is available only about 30 percent of the time at the best sites, he said, and coal- and gas-burning plants produce power more than 85 percent of the time.
      Also, the alternative methods don’t give enough power to meet needs. A large wind turbine installation is about 100 megawatts and some proposals have been made to build wind projects that approach 300 megawatts capacity, he said.
      “But your typical coal-fired power plants are somewhere between 500 and 900 megawatts per unit, and frequently there are several units constructed at each location.”
      Based on projected growth of demand, renewable energy and conservation “are not going to be able to supply the customer in the future,” Eskelsen said.
      “We will need all of the energy efficiency and other demand-side resources we can get, all of the renewable energy we can acquire,” he added. “And we believe that we will still need electricity generation from coal and natural gas.”

From the UT Environmental Quality Dept:
Dianne Nielson, executive director of the Utah Division of Environmental Quality who was present during the Friday briefing, said she appreciates the doctors coming forward and raising their concerns.

Now here’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout:
But cleaner cars and fuels [re: stepping up emissions standards] won’t make much difference as long as the number of motorists increases, she said.
      If mass transit can carry more than the present 2 percent of people who would otherwise drive, “if we can double that, if we can triple that,” pollution would be reduced, Nielson said.

That’s my favorite part of this article. 

REDUCE THE NUMBER OF DRIVERS – USE MASS TRANSIT – WALK, BIKE.  It’s a start to decreasing pollution along the Wasatch Front – and promoting healthier lifestyles.


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