Chuck McConnell: Costly to rural Colorado

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If the Colorado Assembly has its way, the electric bills of hundreds of thousands of rural Colorado families, ranchers, farmers and businesses will increase needlessly. Senate Democrats introduced Senate Bill 252, which will expand by 150 percent the amount of high-cost electricity from renewable sources required by Colorado’s electric co-ops.

In 2007, Colorado lawmakers passed a bill that created a 10 percent renewable standard for electric co-ops, which largely serve rural Colorado, by the year 2020. Senate Bill 252 mandates co-ops to now purchase 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. This will increase electric rates to rural customers significantly. It already costs more to bring electricity to rural areas with customers farther apart and infrastructure costs more expensive than urban areas.

High-cost energy hurts economies and retards job creation. The significantly greater dependence on renewable sources will have the added negative effect on Western Colorado communities whose economic base depends on jobs from low-cost power supplied by conventional sources such as coal.

Senate Bill 252 now includes coal mine methane gas capture (which I wrote about in a Feb. 27 letter) and waste-to-energy as renewable electricity sources. Earlier this year, Sens. Randy Baumgardner and Kevin Grantham introduced bills to accomplish this, but their efforts were killed in committee by the Senate majority. While inclusion of these two renewable energy sources is a positive, it will not be enough to meet the new higher requirements of SB 252. Unfortunately, most of the new renewable electricity will have to come from high-cost sources, some of which will be bought from out of state.

It is sad in these rough economic times that our single-party Colorado state government would impose a law that has the same effect as a tax increase on its people by passing expensive legislation cleverly introduced under the cover of environmental benefit. This just does not make common sense.

SB 252 now looks certain to pass in the Senate. Let our representatives know this bill is costly to the people of Northwest Colorado and should not be passed into law.

Chuck McConnell

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Scott Wedel 1 year, 4 months ago

Mr McConnell is completely wrong that this bill would affect Northwest Colorado. The bill exempts utilities with less than 100,000 customers and YVEA has about 30,000. So this bill would have no direct effect upon this area. In theory, it could lessen the market for coal and other nonrenewable energy and actually slightly lower the cost of our electricity.

The bill appears to be a direct shot at Colorado Springs and their electric company.

For the state to require such a large increase in renewable energy in such a short period of time is insane economically

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 4 months ago

Renewables are only a timy fraction of our consumption and at this time they are not a viable alternative. Trying to force an increase in their contribution makes for feeling good but the logic is not there. We are dependant on conventional power and are being asked to buy energy that is an unreliable boondoggle in order to satisfy an ideology.

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 4 months ago

This is one of the most important subjects to come along, but few seem to have any interest..

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Fred,

The effect of carbon on our environment interests many. Climate change is not an ideology.

Yes, this is a large step, and maybe too large too soon, but there are also costs in doing nothing. We have increasingly harmful weather patterns that are turning agricultural economies sour and tearing towns apart. Mercury is a harmful by-product of coal power, with negative impacts on human health. Our oceans are becoming a changed environment with their rising carbon content, likely reducing that source of food.

So the status quo is not a viable path either. The right choice is rarely the cheapest choice, unless you are a corporation.

Chuck writes, "It is sad in these rough economic times that our single-party Colorado state government would impose a law that has the same effect as a tax increase on its people by passing expensive legislation cleverly introduced under the cover of environmental benefit. This just does not make common sense."

I am disappointed that Chuck finds climate change so easy to ignore, and cannot acknowledge the negatives of the carbon economy as he criticizes others trying to do something about it.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 4 months ago

Personally, I think State Legislature has no business telling an electric co-op how it must operate. The co-op is, by definition, run by it's members and it makes no sense that a commercial co-op can use their lobbying power to influence how co-ops must be operated.

BTW, nominations for YVEA's board will be accepted until 5 pm on May 1st. People wanting to change YVEA's policies should try to run and get elected to the board.

They will, of course, be subject to real world constraints of the costs and difficulties of their ideologies.

I think from a larger economical point of view that Colorado is right to encourage renewable energy, but wrong to quickly mandate significantly higher percentages of renewable energy. There are other places such as California with high population density and limited long distance high voltage power lines where paying 30 cents a kiwh for locally produced clean energy is a deal since they have few alternatives That price is far higher than what we are paying in Colorado.

The eastern planes have windy areas where turbines can produce power at a reasonable cost. Our higher altitudes and generally lower temperatures might make some solar plants work more efficiently and be able to produce power at an acceptable price.

But we should not say clean energy regardless of price.

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

Climate change is not an ideology. It is simply a fact of life on a spinning ball.

And, on balance, climate change has been a GOOD thing.

It is also NOT a proven result of mankinds current practices.

The climate has been changing for thousands, even millions of years.

Only recently have the Chicken Littles which populate the modern, pampered world, decided that climate fluctuations are:

1. Caused by man.

2. Reversible.

3. Undesirable.

4. Detrimental.

Climates changes many orders of magnitude greater than anything recorded in recent history have shaped this planet and did so LONG before there was an internal combustion engine, coal-fired power plants, etc..

Only atheists with a quite ironic "God complex" would presume to aprehend, subdue, re-direct, and control such forces.

These are the people who want us to believe they/we can affect global atmospheric change... WITHOUT THE HELP OF CHINA, INDIA, ETC,

The same folks who would (and did) tell us that there was "no stopping" the little-bitty pine beetle.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Mark,

  1. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position. -NASA

  2. I haven't heard that one. Reducing man-made climate change is the goal I understand. CO2 levels have not been at this level for at least 800,000 years.

  3. and

  4. Climate change is harmless? I think you are alone there.

"This is no small matter. In addition to the newly developing waterways near the polar ice caps in 2008, the National Intelligence Council identified 20 of our bases that are physically at risk as a result of a rising level of the ocean. In regards to what the cause of these changes is, the impacts around the world could be sobering and far-reaching.

As glaciers melt and shrink at a faster rate, water supplies have been diminishing in parts of Asia. Rising sea levels could lead to a mass migration and displacement similar to what we have seen in Pakistan’s flood. And climate shifts could drastically reduce the arable land needed to feed a burgeoning population as we have seen in parts of Africa.

The scarcity of and potential competition for resources like water, food and space, compounded by an influx of refugees if coastal lands are lost, does not only create a humanitarian crisis but creates conditions of hopelessness that could lead to failed states and make populations vulnerable to radicalization. These challenges highlight the systemic implications and multiple-order effects inherent in energy security and climate change."

-Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , Washington, D.C. Wednesday, October 13, 2010 http://www.jcs.mil/speech.aspx?id=1472

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

What were the causes of the much, much larger climate changes that occurred centuries ago?

Should those changes, which led to the world as we now know it, have been "mitigated" or "reduced"?? If they had been would you be skiing in Steamboat Springs, or making sand castles today??

What if mankind had set about to aggressively fight the impending ice-age that so manyc of those brilliant scientists predicted back in the '70's?

Didn't 97% of all the scientists on Earth once agree that the Earth was FLAT???

What if all the ice-age chicken littles back then had rushed to action and embarked on a mission to premptively WARM the planet???

Wouldn't it be even hotter today???

When the ocean rises does that not make more room for sea creatures? I think perhaps you are suffering from "land mamal bigotry", Steve; thinking only of yourself and your species.

Won't other animals benefit from climate change?

Don't plants thrive in elevated CO2 conditions?? And don't those plants help cool the planet?

Who are we to presume to deprive all those other species of their chance to stand (or swim) in history's spotlight???

And can't man, who supposedly has the wherewithall to affect global atmospheric change, not de-salinate sea-water and use it for fresh water??? Isn't it true that you CAN NOT destroy water, Steve???

What if "climate change" is just a big ponzi scheme designed to sucker men into parting with yet another huge percentage of their wealth as well as more of their autonomy??

And, finally, I'm surprised (not really) that someone from the "give peace a chance" end of the spectrum would stoop to using the words of warmongers like Admiral Mullen to support your obviously tenuous position.

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

Heck, we can't even store electricity from a days spinning windmill, but you guys want us to believe that WITHOUT the help of China and India, we can affect Global Atmospheric Change!!!

Sorry, I ain't buyin' it.

Convince the Chineese and then I'm all ears... I WON'T hold my breath...

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Mark, Before its own boom, China watched the U.S. ignore carbon and greenhouse gas problems for many years as the worlds largest carbon consumer. By that standard alone it is incumbent on the U.S. to act. So I disagree with your willingness to now wait for China. Even accepting the two largest carbon contributors might now play a game of "you go first", we should go first.

Preferring peace and tending to our own should not lead me or anyone to dismiss our military and it's opinions. The whole range of information is valid. The generals carry out the orders given by elected civilians. The most serious mistakes are made by the latter. You likely agree. (I do take exception with the power held by the military industrial complex, but more specifically with the private special interests and lobbies within that industry.)

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

No, it is NOT "incumbent on the US to act".This is a dog-eat-dog world.

I didn't sign up for what the US did back then, and I'm not signing up for making reparations for that conduct now.

I certainly agree that elected officials are the source of the majority of my perplexity, and by extension, the dumb-masses making up the electorate.

If folks like you want to "go first" and put yourself back in the stone-age for the sake of a two-bit communist nation like China then knock yourselves out.

China and I are gonna keep right on burning the candle (and coal) at both ends ... and laughing at you.

Also, I noticed you didn't have any answer to very many of my questions...

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 4 months ago

mankind is a pimple on an elephants rear when it comes to affecting the climate. Several years ago BBC produced a series called Planet Earth (I think). When I watched it I was surprised to see how little of planet earth humans had inhabited. If you look at planet earth at night to see lights, humans do not inhabit all that much. Once upon a time Greenland was actually green. Probably not due to mankind and carbon produced energy. Not a lot of SUV's back then. Probably due to that fact that climate changes over the years. It cools down (1970's and an ice age was forecast by the "experts") and recently it has apparently gotten warmer, although the median temperature has not increased that much "The earth's average temperature rose by 0.8°C (1.5°F) during the last century. That change is in the mean global temperature that has been calculated for each year since 1880. The history of average global temperature is based on data gathered around the world at weather stations, on ships and by satellites." While ice levels in the Arctic have dropped, the ice levels in the Antartic are reportedly at record highs yet the global warming proponents don't mention that. Unfortunately, "green" energy has not been proven to be a low cost alternative in Colorado. I would love to use an alternative to carbon based energy but neither solar nor wind will work for me. Cheers, Dan

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 4 months ago

China is not going to cut their greenhouse emissions just because the US made cuts. That is like saying Bangladesh is going to have good construction standards, safe workplaces and a livable minimum wage just because the US passed those laws over a century ago. More likely, that like Bangladesh, that when we try selling exports that the other countries want verifications of proper standards before allowing the imports.

And the USA, private and public, has spent a tremendous amount of money based upon current sea levels that will be extremely expensive to defend.

The 1970s Ice Age predictions were never the predominant scientific view. Even then, 90% of scientific papers predicted warming and 10% predicted cooling. Since then the flaws have found in the cooling papers and the warming thesis has largely been proven correct.

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 4 months ago

Steve, You seem to have all the answers but how about a few questions to make me feel better about your "facts"?

Who is it that is the arbiter of this debate? Might it be academia that reaps mucho bucks from research? Are these the same universities that are huge contributors to a certain political party? Are their minions composed 95+% from one political party? Have they been able to raise the cost of education exponentially because of student aid? This symbiotic relationship rivals the Union- Democratic party one that has much of our government insolvent with unfunded goodies/

Yes Steve I am curios about the truth but am I to believe this agenda driven scenario? Telling you that only those that believe the way that I do are the chosen one's seems to make as much logic.

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

Just because todays "Global Warming" views have risen to a more "predominate" level than the ice-age prdeictions of 40 years ago does not make them more valid.

Perhaps the governments of the world did not see the opportunity for exploitation that they do today, thus, they were not as inclined or organized toward promoting the "big lie" that is being promoted today as "climate change".

Just say that a couple times and it sounds soooo stupid: "Climate Change"...

A reality for millions of years, yet today it is suddenly cause for alarm...

What about "Gravity"... Oh No! There is "Gravity" occuring... Sound the alarm!!!

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Fred, The arbiters of science should be the scientists. But you think they are lying? They do have a long established rigor of peer review to pull down unwarranted claims.

If you think 90% of scientists are self-interested and self-profiteering, then perhaps you will turn to your favorite politicians for climate advice. More Republicans are accepting climate change.

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 4 months ago

Steve, The "scientists" could be right on but the facts that I bought out are undeniable. I read where a scientist from MIT claims that top talent avoids this field because of the zealots that are attracted to it. It is possible that the whole theory may be compromised. The conflicts of interest here make this a hard sell for conservative logic but may sell to liberal ideologues.and it has been turned into a political tool extraordinaire. Folks on the left make their living by converting anything and everything into a political tool. Again climate change by the liberal attest may be right on. In order to swallow the whole story I would need to have just fallen off the cabbage wagon..This would be akin to taking every word from the bible literally.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 4 months ago

And, to be clear, peer review does not mean being acceptable to the currently held view, but whether peers can duplicate your research data, duplicate the data analysis and accept the logical conclusions are supported by the data.

Thus, if you believe a scientific paper is a lie then you should be able to find the lie. Was the data fabricated or do you find the same data? Was the data correctly analyzed or was there spreadsheet errors that affected the results?

As for global warming, couple years a professor in Berkeley had expressed concerns that it looked like people where cherry picking data from their weather data sets. That various techniques that were adjusting for urban heat bubbles were distorting the data. So he got funding from a range of sources including a bunch from greenhouse deniers to analyze all the weather data sets and to openly describe how he was going to adjust any weather station's data (if new equipment caused a change compared to neighboring stations) and so on. His team ended up with a data set that had adjusted quite a number of stations differently that others had done. But they showed that even if you stick to rural stations that had no adjustments then there was still global warming in about the middle of the range of the mainstream scientists.

So even skeptics funded by skeptics when doing an honest data analysis found the results of mainstream scientists is pretty accurate.

If it was all a lie then find the lie. In a scientific paper, it is all laid out for the clever person to check it step by step and find the lie.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Fred, Do those "undeniable facts" you brought out have sources?

One MIT scientist you believe and thereby debunk his peers? Fred, it seems yours is the ideology getting in the way of reality.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 4 months ago

"Global surface temperature has been measured since 1880 at a network of ground-based and ocean-based sites. Over the last century, the average surface temperature of the Earth has increased by about 1.0 F" At this rate, 1 degree per 100 years or so, the good news is I will be long gone before we have the hell on earth the global warming gang seems to think is headed our way.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Dan,

What is your source? Perhaps it failed to mention the large bulk of that change was since 1970. Temps kept rising even though 2000-2010 was a decade of relatively low solar impact. Some perspective on that 1 degree:

"At the end of the last ice age, when the Northeast United States was covered by more than 3,000 feet of ice, average temperatures were only 5 to 9 degrees cooler than today." "Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gasses produced by human activities. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more than 1,300 scientists from the United States and other countries, forecasts a temperature rise of 2.5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century." http://climate.nasa.gov/effects

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Even so, the temperature concerns may be smaller than other CO2 consequences. Some are fairly new to the radar.

"Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the pH of surface ocean waters has fallen by 0.1 pH units. Since the pH scale, like the Richter scale, is logarithmic, this change represents approximately a 30 percent increase in acidity. Future predictions indicate that the oceans will continue to absorb carbon dioxide and become even more acidic. Estimates of future carbon dioxide levels, based on business as usual emission scenarios, indicate that by the end of this century the surface waters of the ocean could be nearly 150 percent more acidic, resulting in a pH that the oceans haven’t experienced for more than 20 million years.

Ocean acidification is expected to impact ocean species to varying degrees. Photosynthetic algae and seagrasses may benefit from higher CO2 conditions in the ocean, as they require CO2 to live just like plants on land. On the other hand, studies have shown that a more acidic environment has a dramatic effect on some calcifying species, including oysters, clams, sea urchins, shallow water corals, deep sea corals, and calcareous plankton. When shelled organisms are at risk, the entire food web may also be at risk." http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/What+is+Ocean+Acidification%3F

One gets the impression this impact will get attention sooner than the temperature impacts. It is a new CO2 topic, but already suspected as the cause of oyster die-offs on both coasts.

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Chuck,

When you next write about the energy issues of our day, please try to acknowledge some of these negatives of our carbon economy. I think with that broader view, you'll find more to like about these efforts to get "beyond carbon".

Cheers.

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John Fielding 1 year, 4 months ago

. I find myself in a position on this subject that I don't hear expressed often, one that is largely embracing of both supposedly irreconcilable viewpoints.

I think it is important to develop energy sources that do not depend on combustion of fossil fuels, and the reasons why are far more diverse than the effect of CO2 on global climate. But it is clear that most such technologies are relatively in their infancy compared to simple carbon combustion applications. Even nuclear has only a half century of track history, and we apparently do not use the fuels as efficiently as prudence demands, to reduce the quantity and potency of the byproduct.

Because we have not yet accomplished the necessary levels of efficiency, most alternatives are very expensive by comparison, so much so that they cannot be utilized without subsidies, and cannot in the foreseeable future replace fossil fuels on a large scale.

Since the costs of energy in our society is such a large fraction of the economy, an increase in energy cost is very damaging. So if we are using a multiple source system and wish to use more of the expensive sources, we should logically strive to reduce the cost of the inexpensive ones. This is being accomplished with the recent advances in natural gas production, and improvements is other conventional fuels uses.

But we seem to be perusing a policy that hinders these improvements in conventional fuels. Instead, we should expand them and simply utilize a portion of the savings from these improved processes to invest in research and development of alternatives. Eventually we'll get the new ones right.

While I have been active in promoting efficiencies in energy use and implementation of practical alternatives, I have not studied the matter in such depth that I understand why some paths remain less traveled. Perhaps some other contributors to this forum could help enlighten me.

Storage and transfer of wind and solar generated electricity can be addressed by converting the electricity to hydrogen. This can be stored in tanks, transported by pipeline, burned cleanly with existing combustion technologies, and mixed in with methane. It seems such a logical alternative. Does anyone know why it is not more actively persued?

Biological conversion of CO2. Over the eons, a vast amount of CO2 has been converted into a very stable form, CaCO3, or limestone. Since we can easily produce concentrations of CO2, can we use it as a source of nurture to those organisms, and harvest other benefits such as food stocks or bio fuels at the same time? For that matter, will these same organisms in the oceans expand their activity significantly due to an increase in atmospheric CO2 levels? How many other potentials are there for utilization of CO2?

That's all I have time for now, thanks for listening. If someone has good information on these questions I would like to hear it.

God is Love.

.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 4 months ago

Wind turbines produce affordable electricity at less than 5 cents per kwh.

But according to a wind energy map, there are few worthwhile locations in Western Colorado. A chunk of the eastern plans has acceptable wind. There are some particular spots that have superb wind. They appear to be mountain passes and mountain peaks.

Would we be willing to have a 400 foot tower atop Storm Peak or Rabbit Ears Pass to generate green energy?

BTW, the new wind turbines have grid stabilization features where they can be adjusting the blades to put out the desired power levels. Though, it generally makes more sense to be spinning at dams because that stored power can generally be used whenever wanted.

There seem to be two primary ways to store power. One is a pair of linked reservoirs at significantly different altitudes which let water flow from upper to lower to generate power and pump water from lower to upper to store energy. The other is massive sealed caverns which they pressurize air to store and send it though turbines to generate power.

Hydrogen is a pain with low power density.

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Mike Isaac 1 year, 4 months ago

Scott that is not a bad idea, we could call it Rabbit Ears Power. That location is good since it is a lot closer to Steamboat therefore there would not be as much power loss than if you put them in the middle of no where far from where the power would be used. Yea you might get some whining from the people that claim to be green and at 5 cents a kilowatt/ hr its a good deal. Im sure their is a rich green guy out there that would like to run their own Wind Power Plant. And Im sure the USFS would approve that since it is so called Green Power.

I don't have a problem with Coal at all it is far better than Nuke plus our coal is from Routt County so their is little shipping cost. So we should just let the Hayden, Craig, power plants worry about burning coal and let someone build that plant on the pass and let the people choose where they want to buy their juice from.

As for Global Warming/Climate Change or what ever they call it I just don't see how they could know for sure. The Earth is 4 Billions years old and we have been only keeping records for 150 years. Plus ever Summer they show pictures of the ice melting in the Arctic and in Winter they point to Antarctica. But they never show you that it just re freeze's in the Winter/Summer. Global warming is just another boggie man that we are suppose to fear. Whether it is the Communist, Nazi's, Muslims, Y2K, or Mass Shooters, Iran, Syria or Teen Age Boston Bombers, Our Government tells us lies so they can take away our freedoms and spend our Tax Money. It is Called Order out of Kaos and works every time on our mindless TV enslaved zombies.

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

More than almost anything, I would just LOVE to see if the green crowd around here would be willing to go for a 400 foot tall wind turbine atop Storm Peak or Rabbit Ears.

The hypocrites in Massachutes (otherwise known as the Kennedys) wouldn't allow it.

My fear is that earth worship has become so prevalant and so ingrained in many folks that they actually WOULD accept it and even embrace it. When that happens our great American landscape will be forever ruined for the sake of their religion.

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

There will be windmills and solar farms in places that no other development would have ever been tolerated.

So either way, we will get a glimpse of their hypocricy.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 4 months ago

Mark,

Well, a wind turbine on a pass or mountaintop is more like a high transmission line or radio towers going where it needs to go than "development".

And the wind power map shows the silliness of requiring local production of renewable energy. YVEA would quickly determine that the economics of wind is far batter than solar. And the possible spots for wind in their service area are along high mountain ridges.

So is a vote for SB 252 a vote for placing wind turbines along the western slope's mountain ridges?

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

Seriously, I doubt the weather along Colorados mt ridges is the kind of place that YVEA (or anyone else in their right mind) wants to install high maintenance ops like wind turbines. And don't try to tell me that a windmill can be maintained at 13,000 ft for 5 cents/ Kwh.

However, I do think the religious zealots of the green community would allow windmills and other so-called renewables to be built in what they would otherwise call "sensitive" places which would foul the landsacpes of this great nation in ways they would never have accepted from any other type of industry or public utility or private development.

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mark hartless 1 year, 4 months ago

I think people should take a serious look at some of the landscapes of California that have been destroyed by ugly windmills as far as the eye can see and ask themselves if that is really what they want the entire countryside to look like in 20 years.

I personally think there is something soothing, even hypnotic, about a large spinning wind turbine. But an entire hillside full of them would get very tedious, very quickly... I think.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 4 months ago

Hey Steve, Some info for you to chew on. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/04/negative-feedbacks-what-they-are-and-why-they-are-important.php

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/04/a-scientist-reproves-the-alarmist-flock.php

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/04/how-the-hockey-stick-crumbled-a-post-mortem.php

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/03/climate-change-endgame-in-sight.php

PS: - please don't accuse me of being an idealogue. As I said before i will be long gone before the global warming that apparently is upon us destroys the earth. Odds are the ability of our government to spend in oblivion will destroy the US before global warming does

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Harvey Lyon 1 year, 4 months ago

John,

NREL is working on everything you suggested. They're looking at everything....trust me. They recognize that the Democratic Party is currently in charge and many of their younger members are for "total green" even if they haven't done their homework and drive SUVs.

We, meaning the US Gov, have projects of various forms for storing wind and solar energy to make it more reliable. We have CO2 capture, storage and conversion projects going on around the world. Hey, coral love CO2 and reefs protect shorelines. Some show promise for scalability.

There are many factors.

The average home consumption has gone from 600KWH per month to 1100 KWH per month over the last 5 years, called the "flat screen effect".It appears many talk the talk but don't walk the walk.

Power storage facilities of any significant size are like having a pet lion. When things go wrong a lot of people die. You spoke of hydrogen, one spark of a 10 MW hydrogen storage facility would wipe a significan portion of a US State off the map as 10 MWs are released immediately.

Storage facilities have to also be affordable. We can bring wind power to your home for about 5 cents per KWH unadjusted for subsidies from State and Federal Governments. Some say 9 cents adjusted. Stored electricity from renewables runs about 25 cents per KWH.

We have a sociological problem with nuclear power, totally green, totally unlimited. The only single thing is there would be very small but certain places on earth folks couldn't go to unprotected for pretty much forever.....where we store radioactive waste. Currently we live with much higher risks to the general community lacking a politically correct disposal plan....but no one thinks about that.

Absent a President who has leadership abilities, willing to get out in front rather than wait for a moment to lead....things won't change. Think what unlimited electrical power at 2 cents per KWH would do for the economy?

Anyway......as we go along now, the price of power will effect our ability to produce and grow. It will effect opportunities for us and those that come after....our kids. Folks will not recognize the serious problem until they throw "the switch" and nothing happens.

Cheap plentiful energy is the principle support of a healthy vibrant society, always has been always will be. It refines the crude oil that comes out of the ground into gasoline and it powers the impressive presentations made by the "green energy now" folks. They didn't walk to the arctic to study ice flows nor did they sleep in cotton tents like Admiral Byrd.

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Harvey Lyon 1 year, 4 months ago

And the fact of the matter is.......the only thing we can do is replace Diane Mitsch Bush as our representative.

She's a lier and I have no problem stating that as I can document it. Straight up, looked me in the eyes lied to me in private. She's interested in f***kin' over republican areas that don't have the population and transferring their money to the front range where the representatives there will give her greater political authority.

Vote by vote indicates she's anti-coal, anti ski resort......actually anti-environmental in that she excluded many districts from SB 252 because they had democratic party representatives.

Read her bio....there's a reason she hasn't styed any one place very long until she came to Steamboat. Shes left of left and is for any program that she can fund with other peoples money.

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Bob Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

"As for Global Warming/Climate Change or what ever they call it I just don't see how they could know for sure. The Earth is 4 Billions years old and we have been only keeping records for 150 years..." ... its called carbon dating. if you took the time to understand the science, you would see. no politics. no government conspiracy. just science. but I guess actually educating yourself would seriously undermine many of your beliefs...that would be painful.

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Bob Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

Harvey, I'm all for nuclear power. However, nuclear power is a viable source for cheap energy only if it goes uninsured. And that's WITH the massive government subsidies necessary to get the plant going. As for CO2 capture, not only does capturing the gas require an enormous amount of energy and it is extremely expensive, but where do we store all the gas? and in many cases we would need to transport the gas. However, I do think there is definitely promise with new developments and technology in nuclear and "clean" coal, however there is a long way to go ...makes wind and solar look pretty good at that rate, in spite of the fact that they too have a way to go...but I do agree with you; we need a diversified portfolio of sources for our energy. most informed folks would agree with that. some of us would just like to see more rather then less of that diversification go to renewables...

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 4 months ago

Hey all, Here is some good news on the energy front. All that open land and all that wind that blows and yet; http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/05/an-era-of-endless-energy-is-at-hand.php

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Steve Lewis 1 year, 4 months ago

Dan, I do like reading counter-arguments. And the arguments to those. All a good chew that educates.

P1 - The negative (cooling) feedback of aerosols may be helpful. On the other hand, the source of Powerline 4, that Economist article, argues aerosols, which include coal smoot may actually, be a net heater. Other NASA links say the aerosols' negative feedbacks are being downgraded from earlier estimates.

P2 - You wouldn't support the underlying comments by the global cooling guy either. The WWU faculty critique was right to point out the misuse of data and dumb conclusion. http://nwgeology.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/climate-change-wwu-geology-refutes-don-easterbrook/ Deming won't defend any of the global cooling theory that WWU debunks, but attacks WWU and warming based on "significant evidence that would tend to falsify global warming"? He is right with 2 arguments about data trends and wrong on 2 arguments that are cherry picked snapshots. Another argument counts fewer fires but ignores their increased size.

His most interesting argument is droughts. Recent reduction in drought measurements have come through more modeling metrics. At the same time, weather fluctuations both dryer and wetter still diminish potential crops, but more abroad than here. http://iis-db.stanford.edu/pubs/23214/policy_brief_trends11.pdf

In sum, climate change is a wiser focus than global warming.

P3 - Not sure what debunking a new study proves.

P4 - The Economist is a solid mainstream publication. Their article is far better than Powerline's cherry picking of it. http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21574461-climate-may-be-heating-up-less-response-greenhouse-gas-emissions

The lead was good as well: http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21574490-climate-change-may-be-happening-more-slowly-scientists-thought-world-still-needs

Et tu? What do you think about ocean acidification? Our ocean's food chain is a closer term problem and harder to accommodate.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 4 months ago

Steve, i don't care about global warming/climate change. It has been going on for millions of years and it will continue until the sun novas. Sometimes it gets warmer, sometimes it gets colder. remember Greenland in the 1400s http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/03/20/new-paper-shows-greenland-was-warmer-during-the-1930s-and-1400s-than-the-present-paper-published-in-climate-of-the-past/. I don't think mankind and all its energy use foibles caused the "global warming" that made Greenland green. I don't care about ocean acidification. For all you and I know it has happened before, it was just not recorded. I post opposing view points and articles supporting them because there are 2 sides to every issue and you don't have the monopoly on useful articles. I care about the direction this country is headed and the impact it will have on my children. You can and will defend your beliefs to the nth degree and i applaud you for that as that is your right. I wish you would use your time on the town square to speak for reduced government spending, for lower taxes on start up companies, for health care policies that actually will work, for ideas that will actually get this country off the death spiral we are on. Global warming is not on my list of worries. Cheers, Dan

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Bob Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

It's becoming quite fashionable to sign of with a "cheers" . Very cosmopolitan!

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Bob Smith 1 year, 4 months ago

It's becoming quite fashionable to sign off with a "cheers" . Very cosmopolitan! Who said our valley is full of hicks!

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