Friday, December 4, 2009

Senator Byrd Opposes Mountaintop Removal

Senator Byrd of West Virginia, a long time supporter of the coal industry, released a statement on December 3 opposing mountaintop removal strip mining for coal.

The statement appears in the Appalachian Voices Front Porch Blog.

My comment on that statement is:

I truly admire and respect Senator Byrd. I've always been awed by his foreign policy speeches.

But he's mistaken about one thing. He states:
"Let’s speak a little more truth here. No deliberate effort to do away with the coal industry could ever succeed in Washington because there is no available alternative energy supply that could immediately supplant the use of coal for base load power generation in America. That is a stubborn fact that vexes some in the environmental community, but it is reality."

We really could provide base load power without coal or nuclear using existing, least cost technology.

Here's a short bit from my blog that makes this point:

And here's a whole list of articles from a reputable source, the Rocky Mountain Institute, that make the case for efficiency savings and distributed power (instead of large central plants):

The technology exists now, and is cost-effectively implemented in this and other countries. We just need to learn about it and get to work.

Still, I'm encouraged by Senator Byrd's statement.

We need to stop propagating misinformation in the energy debate.

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