Stewart Acuff

May 12

We Don’t Need to Destroy Our Planet to Have Power

2144233989_c275f42a13We have frequently written against the building of the XL pipeline and the practice of fracking in this space.

Some have criticized our pieces saying there is not a viable alternative to carbon fuels and the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to obtain natural gas.

Now, the MIT Technology Review has done an article on the growth of wind power in Colorado and the support of one of the state’s largest utilities for the mandated use of even more wind power. Xcel Energy has gone from opposing even a 10 percent requirement for a utility to use wind power to supporting a 30 percent requirement for a utility to use wind power.

Though¬†hydroelectric power has long been a major source of electricity, the technology hasn’t existed for wind and solar to be a reliable source of base power according to the energy industry. It was hydro power through the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Rural Electrification Authority that first lit southern homes. The entire Canadian province of Quebec gets 98 percent of its electricity from water.

Now the technology exists to predict the activity of wind turbines, and therefore, the amount of base power wind can generate allowing utilities to use much more wind power.

There simply is no reason to poison our water by fracking or worsen climate change by building the Keystone XL pipeline. We must force investment in clean, sustainable energy AND the many more jobs they create.

While our most powerful global competitors invest in new, clean, and sustainable sources of energy like China and Germany, we allow greed and “market forces” to push us into investing new money into old, dangerous, and outmoded energy.

Photo source: mugley on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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