Healy coal plant should be used to generate power in Southcentral

Posted: Tuesday, December 09, 2003

How many more rocks have to fall on the governor's, our legislators' and the borough administration's heads before they wake up to the fact that keeping Agrium in Alaska requires more creativity than they have so far demonstrated.

In 2002, in letters to this newspaper, I predicted that unless more gas supplies were found that Agrium would be gone in three to five years. Now Agrium has made it official.

In another letter to the editor, I pointed out that action needs to be taken to extend the available supplies of natural gas. Most electrical power used in southcentral is generated using natural gas. If we used another source to generate electricity, we would extend the gas supplies.

Normally it would take years to bring another power source online. But Alaska already has the Healy Clean Coal power plant sitting unused because Fairbanks utilities whine it is too costly to operate.

Let Fairbanks whine and do without! Fire up the plant. Bring it online for Southcentral, and thus reduce the amount of natural gas used to generate electricity thus extending the available natural gas supply.

As gas supplies shrink, the cost of power generated by natural gas will increase more than the cost at Healy.

Light up your electric idea bulb, guys, and get sparking.

By the way, I'm visiting relatives in Indianapolis, Ind. I can buy unleaded gasoline at WalMart for $1.249 a gallon. It was 1.829 in Kenai when I left town.

Does it really cost almost 50 percent more to refine and deliver gasoline on the Kenai Peninsula? Or are peninsula residents simply being gouged?

William J. Phillips


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