Energy production is still critical
My first thought upon seeing the book, “The Sum of All Fears,” was that someone’s finally writing about the Obama legacy. I felt a great opportunity had been squandered when I found it was a work of fiction.
I had the president on my mind as I was sympathetic for the week he had — with the president of the Philippines calling him a very bad name, the Chinese fighting with his representatives at the airport and not even pushing up a stairway so he could “deplane.” It’s a good drop from Air Force One to the ground. Luckily the aircraft came with stairs, otherwise he might have had to slide down some bedsheets tied together.
I’m also certain he’s glad to be back in United States after being used as a chew toy by Vladimir Putin over operations in Syria. Some of the press designated the meeting as being between the “lion and the pussycat.” I think we know who was the lion.
All this brings me surprisingly enough to the political debates at Club 20 this weekend and the need to choose some competent leaders, because if we don’t do it pretty quickly, the future looks to be filled with electrical brownouts, tasty Soylent Green and debates about transgender bathrooms.
This connection is highlighted by the international fiascoes this country has experienced, crystallizing the distance between what the president thinks about his ideas and what most of the world is thinking.
It’s opposite of Dale Carnegie’s instruction of winning friends and influencing people. We’re losing influence and friends so we need to get our house in order because, at least for a while, we may have to go it alone.
This brings us to a topic important to the nation and more so to western Colorado, which is energy production. It’s increasingly unlikely we are going to find cooperative foreign partners to sell us fossil fuels and with present policies, the demand side of the equation will steadily outstrip supply; or should I say generation.
Some may recall last month during the Eastern Seaboard heatwave that power transmission lines feeding into New York City began to melt. This is not just because the lines were a few degrees warmer, it’s due to the demand for power so families in the city could have air conditioning, fans or can sit with the refrigerator open to keep cool.
As more electricity is demanded through a transmission line, resistance begins to build and the line overheats and since we are no longer in the business of building power plants because of some’s misguided belief in carbon footprints, this is only going to get worse.
Additionally, as people further spread out, lines from existing plants get longer, which also increases resistance and further lowers the efficiency of the transmission of power.
Often, the same day I read about power plants being shut down (more on that later) I see glowing media stories about electric cars. So we’re creating demand at a much swifter rate than we are creating supply and we are not just placing an embargo on new power generation plants, we are in the process of shutting ones we have down.
This is all very close to home if you live in Craig or Nucla, where the EPA and some other folks along with the ever present WildEarth Guardians organization, have reached an agreement to shut down Craig Power Station Unit One as well as the Nucla station in Montrose County — reportedly to improve visibility and lower ozone levels. That’s a loss of 527 megawatts of energy.
The closures will become effective between 2022 and 2025 which may seem like a ways off unless you have kids who want to go to college and you work in those facilities or the New Horizon coal mine in Montrose, which is also going to be shut down.
These are some of the highest paid jobs available in the area and there is nothing to replace them. Some politicians talk about green jobs, like solar which generates 0.6 percent of our energy while coal fired plants create 33 percent and natural gas a like amount.
Ultimately, we need to find representatives to support what’s important to the people to do the work and not the priorities of those now in charge — temporarily we hope — which hurt us and don’t actually help them.