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Coal versus hydro

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2007

The Cook Inlet Basin is looking at a major change in the fuel used here for electrical generation. The whole world is screaming global warming and carbon footprints that don’t block the sun but amplify are beating a path to Cook Inlet. So now is the showdown between the real Greenies and the Industrialist. Do the Greenies hide their heads in the sand or offer up something substantial in the battle against global warming?

There is a perfect hydro project location on Cook Inlet’s western shore near Tyonek called Chakachamna. This high mountain glacial fed lake would support a hydro electric project producing 366 megawatts or nearly five times the entire Homer Electric maximum load. The continued lock up of the Chakachamna within the Lake Clark National Monument is near criminal when faced with enormity of coal that will be burned to produce this much electricity. The next time you drive by the large inflated bubble near the Seward Highway in Anchorage just think of it as the pile of coal that will be burnt every four days to meet that demand.

Let your mind’s eye project the line of more than 90 of these piles each year, forever. How much of this dust do you want dropped forever on the floor of the Great Land? This demand will be met, and have no doubts if the choice is to be made now is the time to circle the wagons, for the real battle of global warming just landed on your doorstep.

Do the Greenies just say no, or can they show their real spirit and backbone? If there is to be a race for this price of power it’s time to mobilize and at least offer an alternative -- or sit and watch as the dust of change (coal dust) claims another footprint.

Dennis Barnard

Kenai



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