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Letter: Coal most reliable and least expensive energy source, energy

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  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    March 28, 2013 6:24 a.m.

    You should visit this group's website. They claim that global warming has stopped and that the president is setting America up for ruin. So of course they are going to be pro coal.

    Their mission statement says,

    "ICSC also focuses on publicizing the repercussions of misguided plans to “solve the climate crisis”. This includes, but is not be limited to, the dangerous impacts of attempts to replace conventional energy sources with wind turbines, solar power, biofuels and other ineffective and expensive energy sources."

    If that doesn't ruin their credibility or scare you I don't know what will.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 28, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    When we have colder weather than "normal" weather anywhere on the planet like those on the east coast and mid west with record snow and in Russia where they experienced a very colder than normal winter, nothing is said about global warming. Yet if we have some warmer than "normal" weather in a few areas like we did last summer, all we hear is that this is "proof" of global warming! No one accounts for the fact the climates are always changing, always have an always will and man has nothing to do with it! All the proponents of man made global warming have to offer is junk science and bogus computer models programed to predict what they want predicted. All science is fleeting and everything we think we know will eventually be proven to be completely wrong or at least very incomplete. As our grandparent's science is to us, so will our science to our grandchildren. In the meantime there are disingenuous people who want to profit (carbon taxes) from this scam!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    While MM denies that science even exists, let's remember that coal is important to all of us. But that does not mean we should relax any efforts to make it cleaner and safer.

    And, yes, by all means visit this outfit's website if you want a real dose of fantastic fantasy.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 28, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    The International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) is a group of climate change SKEPTICS which describes itself as "an association of scientists, economists, and energy and policy experts working to promote better public understanding of climate change science and policy.

    --------

    According to the ICSC website,

    "Since its formation in 2007, ICSC has been funded and supported exclusively by private individuals... We have NEVER received financial support from corporations, foundations or government."

    Yet ICSC received $$$ from the Heartland Institute in 2007, according to Heartland's Form 990 for that year.

    ----------

    The Heartland Institute, according to the Institute's web site, is a nonprofit "think tank" that questions the reality and import of climate change, second-hand smoke health hazards, and a host of other issues that might seem to require government regulation.

    ============

    Yes Folks -- It's a Scam.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 28, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Wait, there's more...

    The ICSC affiliate group in Australia includes advisors such as Vivian Forbes and Professor Ian Plimer. Mr Forbes is a director of coal export business Stanmore Coal. Professor Ian Plimer is a director of at least five mining companies, including Ormil Energy, which in June 2011 received state approval to drill near Sydney in search of coalbed methane.

    The web sites of the International Climate Science Coalition, the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and the Australian Climate Science Coalition are all hosted at the same IP address, by a single Internet service provider in Arizona. ICSC's executive director was unwilling to comment on this apparent linkage.

    The ICSC site highlights news on climate skeptics from all over the world. It also propagates skeptics' conspiracy theories on climate change.

    =========

    You would think the Deseret News would do a better job screening and investigating sources {media watchdog],
    and perhaps has a biased agenda to propogate (i.e., propoganda).

    Come on,
    I could do better in a High School newspaper....

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 28, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    If it is the least expensive why are so many plants going to natural gas?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    The only petroleum source that comes close to meeting the claims of this outfit is natural gas.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    March 28, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    Coal's days are numbered. Over the past few years, coal's percentage of electricity production in the U.S. has dropped from about 50 percent to less than 40 percent today, with natural gas now taking its place.

    California has cancelled its coal contracts from IPP by the mid-2020s, so Utah's coal industry is going to suffer serious cuts. I don't see too many Utah policymakers or companies preparing for this inevitable cliff.

    Aside from carbon and pollution, coal's biggest problem going forward is its inflexibility. Unlike natural gas that can be flipped on and off quite readily, nuclear and coal plants produce power 24/7, whether the power is needed or not. As more renewables enter the grid, their variability will require natural gas's easy on-off capabilities to match load with supply.

    Because utilities use marginal costs to dispatch power (i.e., the price of fuel), wind and solar will ALWAYS be a priority to dispatch when they're available because their marginal cost is zero (no fuel costs). To dispatch nuclear, coal, or natural gas, it costs utilities money. Thus, cheap and flexible natural gas will become the favored choice of utilities going forward.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 28, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    Twin Lights,
    two reason more plants are going to NG.

    First and foremost, under BO's repressive EPA, it is nearly impossible to get permits for new coal plants, and it is often cheaper to retrofit existing plants to NG than to upgrade the emission controls.

    Second, NG plants can be fired up and shut down much quickly than can coal fired plants.

    in January 2010, Forbes reported the cost of producing one million BTUs from coal ranged from $0.56 to $2.08, while it cost $5.69 to get one million BTUs from NG.

    The US Energy Information Agency (at their dotgov webpage) now (3/5/13) reports the cost of 1MM BTU from NG at $6.01 and coal at $8.00. So the cost has swung in favor of NG. I suspect BO's promise to shut down the domestic coal industry has something to do with the cost of coal increasing up to 1600% in the last 3 years. Even NG costs more now. So BO did NOT lie when he said the costs of electricity would skyrocket under his misadministration.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    Given that global warming is the greatest threat facing mankind. Why don't we make use of Yellowstone and more of other geothermal energy? This could replace most if not all coal used in the United States.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 28, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    cjb
    Bountiful, UT
    Given that global warming is the greatest threat facing mankind. Why don't we make use of Yellowstone and more of other geothermal energy?

    ----------

    Because, Yellowstone is protected, for very good reasons.

    Besides,
    No one has to depend on YellowStone for GeoThermal.

    Anyone can have a GeoThermal heatpump installed in the home.
    I did - my heating and cooling was $20-$30 per month....just enough power to run the 120W HVAC fan and the 200W coolant pump. 72 degrees 24/7/365.

    Just like money,
    A penny saved is a penny earned.
    Saving - (conservation) is always the 1st step of action.

    Same holds true for power.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 28, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    What we need is billions more taxpayer money wasted on failed green energy companies:
    1.Evergreen Solar ($25 million)*
    2.SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
    3.Solyndra ($535 million)*
    4.Beacon Power ($43 million)*
    5.Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
    6.SunPower ($1.2 billion)
    7.First Solar ($1.46 billion)
    8.Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
    9.EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
    10.Amonix ($5.9 million)
    11.Fisker Automotive ($529 million)
    12.Abound Solar ($400 million)*
    And that is only a partial list. All the while gas prices continue to rise.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    re Open Minded Mormon

    So with this heat pump you are off the grid and therefore no longer depend on coal generated electricity? ... neat and also some how don't need oil to power your car?. Can you share with the rest of us and the state and nation as a whole the details of how you did this please?

    I guess making use of Yellowstone won't be necessary then.

    I realize there are good reasons not to make use of Yellowstone geothermal energy, but sometimes good reasons have to be set aside, like if mankind were facing the most severe threat it has ever faced. To avoid such threat, we could sacrifice just one national park couldn't we .. to save the entire world? (Actually Yellowstone wouldn't have to be sacrificed if we did this in an intelligent way).

    But as we have just determined this won't be necessary now with our future use of heat pumps.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 28, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    Lost in DC,

    See the Forbes article "Why Shale Gas is Closing Coal Plants: So Why Do the Hippies Hate Shale?" published in May of 2012. There, it clearly outlines that natural gas is cheaper per BTU.

    BTW, I was talking about plants that WERE coal-fired and are spending the money to switch to NG.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 28, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    Mountanman
    Hayden, ID

    OK, I took your figures of those 12 companies at face value and added them up = $6.2 Billion in failed attempts.

    The wars in the Middle cost $30 million per DAY.

    So, using YOUR own numbers,
    America could pay for and fail another 5,806 companies just like those and STILL be money ahead what we've paid so far is keeping the limited supply of foreign oil flowing.

    Obama is right, I too have faith in America, so I agree on betting and putting money into America for pertetual, clean energy sources, rather than betting on and relying on limited Middle Eastern oil.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 28, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    This letter is from an obvious shill for the coal industry. There are certain natural consequences to coal: boom/bust economy, a low-education workforce destined for the mines, and degradation of the air and the land. Utah is making no effort at all to cultivate alternatives. NV on the other hand is investing heavily in thermal solar and will soon be powering Las Vegas that way. Clean, cheap, safe, and inexhaustible.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 28, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    cjb
    Bountiful, UT
    re Open Minded Mormon

    So with this heat pump you are off the grid and therefore no longer depend on coal generated electricity? ... neat and also some how don't need oil to power your car?. Can you share with the rest of us and the state and nation as a whole the details of how you did this please?

    ===========

    I'm not 100% off the grid yet, because I don't want to be.
    With the addition of Solar and Wind - all my excess power is sold BACK to Rocky Mountain Power and placed into the grid, the meter runs backwards and they pay me for it.

    I have a Merceds Benz 240D (D, ie.e, Diesel).
    I run SVO (straight Vegatabel Oil) in it, I get it for free and from local resturants and mix and make it myself,
    FYI - it's not Bio-diesel.

    That's if in only 200 words - but it's not that hard.
    You just have to be smart.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    Wind and solar more more reliable and.....free.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    @Ernest,

    If wind and solar are free, why did barack take my money to give to these companies that produce wind and solar, only to have these companies go bankrupt?

    If they are free, why did barack have to take my money to pay for them?

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    One should remember London before the coal ban, not pretty. It doesn't take a PhD climate scientist to understand the consequences of coal burning. We may do a better job now than decades ago, but it is still doing a better job of doing the wrong thing.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 28, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    Chris B
    Salt Lake City, UT
    @Ernest,

    If wind and solar are free, why did barack take my money to give to these companies that produce wind and solar, only to have these companies go bankrupt?

    If they are free, why did barack have to take my money to pay for them?

    2:40 p.m. March 28, 2013

    =============

    I remember Boeing, Lockheed, McDonnell, Douglas, Rockwell, etc. blewing-up a TON of rockets trying to get to the moon before we finally suceeded.

    The Manhattan Project (nuclear power) was the most expensive project America has ever under taken.
    They didn't build Rome in a day either.

    Where's all your crocodile tears being spilt over all those projects as they failed along their way to success?

    BTW - Bush Co took away $3Trillion for his little crusades in the Middle East.
    You pony up for that little fiasco, I'll pony up for a few billion peenies by comparison spend on clean, renewable, sustainable energy sources.

    Deal?

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    Either civilization learns how to develop clean energy or it's destined to go by the wayside. Mother Nature, or God if you care to call it that, rules supreme. It has an autocorrect button for species that extend the carrying capacity of their ecosystem. For those of you critics that don't like the goverment investing in technologies that are currently not profitable remember this. The article you just read on line was the result of millions of research dollars spent on the thing we call the internet.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 28, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Twin Lights,
    It appears we have reached some agreement.

    I said in my first post that it is often cheaper to retro-fit old coal plants to NG than to upgrade the emission scrubbers – so we were talking about the same thing. BO increasing coal prices up to 1600% probably contributed, too.

    You cite a Forbes article from 2012, I cited a US govt agency from this month; both showed NG is now cheaper than coal.

    But both energy sources now cost more than what Forbes reported in 2010. Thanks, BO, for driving up energy prices, especially coal.

    LDS? Lib,
    NOBODY said going to the moon would be free

    NOBODY said the Manhattan project was free

    NOBODY said Rome was built for free.

    Ernest claimed that wind and solar power are free. Chris B pointed out that error.

    Nice obfuscation, though. And bush and the middle east? Off-topic. BTW, approved by most DEMS in congress.

  • LDS Tree-Hugger Farmington, UT
    March 28, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    These are the same guys who cried for 200 years over the loss of whale blubber.

    Some people (call them Conservatives) don't like change or any sort, period.

    Even when it's the right thing to do.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    I personally choose to believe the thousands of scientists who have spent their lives studying our climate. Among those scientists there is an overwhelming consensus is climate change is real, and we are contributing to it. There are a few outliers of course, but there is with anything.

    That said, and global warming aside, it doesn't take a scientist to look at a coal power plant and realize the harm it can/is causing. I say replace them all with natural gas and more nuclear power plants, while continuing to invest, build, and research renewable energy.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    March 28, 2013 5:47 p.m.

    Coal is also the most reliable source of mercury in your diet. mmmmmmm, duh.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2013 6:37 p.m.

    ChrisP, who owns the wind and sun? Sure it take some money to develop the technology but once the turbines are up the source is free and unlimited.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2013 6:38 p.m.

    LDS Tree-hugger is spot on correct. Well said!

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    March 28, 2013 6:59 p.m.

    Also Mountain Man, a lot of these people who own the companies were/are bundlers for obama. 0bama's bundlers who owned Solyndra even stepped in front of the tax payers in the bankruptcy case. Not legal! Shouldn't have been done. In other words any money coming out of the bankruptcy went to the bundlers first, any left over (that's a joke) repaid the taxpayers. Yah! As far as I'm concerned it was just a way of paying them off with tax payers money.

  • TomHarrisICSC Ottawa, Canada, 00
    March 28, 2013 7:43 p.m.

    Amazing what I can learn about our group, the International Climate Science Coalition, by reading the comments after our letter. Much of it is nonsense, of course. We shill for no one. Else, our scientists (many of whom are tenured U profs) who volunteer their time to help us, would quit. And, no, Ian Plimer has never been on any of our boards or in any way affiliated with ICSC. Viv Forbes has been on our policy advisor board for years now because of his extensive work with Carbon Sense Coalition in New Zealand.

    Hmm, what else has been made up about us?

    In the final analysis, all that matters is whether what we are saying, namely that it is very unlikely that human-induced carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous climate change, is correct or not. Let's focus on that, instead of all the ad hominem attacks, shall we?

    For starters, perhaps people can suggest why, if Al Gore et al are right, we have seen no significant warming for 17 years, even though CO2 cotinues to rise relatively quickly.

    Tom Harris
    Executive Director - International Climate Science Coalition

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:23 p.m.

    Use Yellowstone to generate thermal power?

    And destroy completely one of the most amazing places on the face of the Earth.

    Really, really intelligent. Yup.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:25 p.m.

    Lost, you really are lost aren't you?

    You completely missed the point of Twin's post. But that's normal.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    March 30, 2013 6:52 a.m.

    I have to agree with Tom Harris. I've watched over the years as climate researchers have tried in vain to find any correlation between atmospheric CO2 and temperature. The only thing catastrophic has been the failure of the computer models to accurately reflect the undetectable impact of CO2 on temperature.

    For those who wish to push forward and find new and better energy sources: we already did it once, but folks like John Kerry and Bill Clinton, and organizations like NRDC killed our best hope back in the 1990s. The Integral Fast Reactor would have allowed us to use spent fuel rods - the ones now sitting around in holding ponds - to generate all our electricity. Instead we get the boondoggles of solar and wind, which cost too much and have a tremendous negative environmental impact.

    Standard of living is directly linked to cost of energy. We must either prepare for a dramatic shift downward in our standard of living or stop re-electing and otherwise supporting people and organizations who derive power from crises.