Those of us who drive in the Midwest or Southwest are often startled to see a plethora of wind turbines sprouting like overnight mushrooms in an area we remember as farms or grazing lands. But unlike the fragile mushrooms that we kicked over when walking to school on spring mornings, these mushrooms have 700-ton concrete bases, are nearly 30 stories tall, and cost upwards of $3,570,000 each. What caused all this to happen since our last trip to the area? Who is footing the bill? And why?
According to the 2009 Energy Information Agency Report on Electricity Generation, wind power provided 70.8 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) out of the U.S. total of 3,953 billion kWh. Why, it must be asked, does wind power equal only 1.79 percent of the generated power when over the past 30 years seemingly every political speech has contained the phrase “wind, solar, or other renewables” as the solution to our energy problems?
As America struggles with expensive energy provided by foreign nations without our best interests at heart, West Virginians must wonder why. America is rich in coal, a resource that could supply our nation’s energy needs for the foreseeable future. West Virginia, in particular, has a vast abundance of this safe and proven energy source. Moreover, West Virginians, who face serious problems with unemployment, are ready to do the productive and important work of bringing that coal to market in America.
Interview of Art Crino by Rebecca Terrell
Controversy over rising demands for “clean energy” and costs associated with it has made finding “alternative energy sources” a priority on Capitol Hill. The New American sat down with an expert in power-generation technology to discuss why nuclear is the safest, most efficient answer to the so-called “energy crisis.”
Last month, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) unveiled their “American Power Act,” custom-tailored to President Obama’s plans to set up quotas for industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with total allowable emissions reduced over time. Better known as cap and trade, the bill is an updated version of S. 1733, companion legislation to the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill, H.R. 2454. Kerry’s official home page brags that the new bill “puts America back in control of our own power generation, starts to clean up the carbon pollution that threatens our climate stability, and puts us on the path to a new, cleaner and more prosperous economy for the 21st Century.”