Renewables Best for Both Sides of Stateby Joseph Bogaard
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - November 19, 2003
Christopher Brown's Nov. 12 letter questions the merits of renewable energy and misses the point. Promoting renewable energy makes sense for all the right reasons. Clean energy is not only good for the planet to reduce global warming, but in the Northwest, it is also the best way to meet our future energy needs and create thousands of jobs and income on both sides of the Cascades.
All Northwesterners remember the drought of 2001 and skyrocketing energy prices. Our region is overreliant on hydro-electricity. Brown should understand how diversifying our energy sources with renewables would help stabilize future supply and, thus, price. That is good for everyone, industries and consumers.
Further, farmers already are embracing wind turbines on their lands because it pays good money. A turbine is worth at least $3,000 a year to farmers in leasing income -- and farmers can continue to grow on their land. In short, wind means cash for farmers.
Finally, Brown speculates about the turbines that would be needed to replace the energy generated by the four lower Snake River dams. It would require 2,200 modern wind turbines to replace these dams' output. And at $3,000 in lease fees, that would mean $6.6 million annual income into the pockets of farmers and rural landowners, a benefit that the dams certainly don't provide.
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