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Proposed plant balances concerns over power rates, climate change

Wind energy is part of the solution, too, and we're investing in it. But since the wind doesn't blow 24/7, it can't be counted on by itself to reliably meet demand. ...On the federal level, much fact finding, discussion and a significant commitment to research and development are needed to ensure a balanced solution that addresses concerns about global climate change. Some say we have only one chance to get this right, and if that's true, we need to make informed decisions, not emotional choices.

The electric cooperatives that provide electricity in each of Iowa's 99 counties appreciated the time and space The Des Moines Register's opinion pages devoted to energy and the environment the week of April 13. The diverse opinions expressed about how legislators, regulators and utility companies should address concerns about climate change and ensure reliable, safe, affordable and environmentally responsible power illustrated the complexities of this issue, which impacts every Iowan.

The viewpoints also revealed that there is no silver bullet that addresses all the pocketbook and quality-of-life concerns on this issue. Unfortunately, technology does not yet exist to generate 24/7, reliable and carbon-free electric generation that's affordable for all consumers, especially Iowans who are poor, elderly or on fixed incomes and cannot afford yet another cost increase.

At Iowa's electric cooperatives, which are owned by the members we serve, we understand that balancing energy needs with the environment is a significant challenge. We are committed to helping develop a solution that is consistent with the best interests of the approximately 650,000 Iowans to... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The electric cooperatives that provide electricity in each of Iowa's 99 counties appreciated the time and space The Des Moines Register's opinion pages devoted to energy and the environment the week of April 13. The diverse opinions expressed about how legislators, regulators and utility companies should address concerns about climate change and ensure reliable, safe, affordable and environmentally responsible power illustrated the complexities of this issue, which impacts every Iowan.

The viewpoints also revealed that there is no silver bullet that addresses all the pocketbook and quality-of-life concerns on this issue. Unfortunately, technology does not yet exist to generate 24/7, reliable and carbon-free electric generation that's affordable for all consumers, especially Iowans who are poor, elderly or on fixed incomes and cannot afford yet another cost increase.

At Iowa's electric cooperatives, which are owned by the members we serve, we understand that balancing energy needs with the environment is a significant challenge. We are committed to helping develop a solution that is consistent with the best interests of the approximately 650,000 Iowans to whom we provide electricity.

We continually look for the best choices for matching power supply with growing demand for electricity. That is why two of our members will be joint owners in Alliant Energy's proposed Sutherland Generating Station No. 4 near Marshalltown. The Sutherland plant, like MidAmerican Energy's Walter Scott Jr. Energy Center Unit 4, in which our members also are joint owners, will help meet growing consumer demand for electricity.

Both are coal-burning plants with the best technology available today and will produce 15 percent fewer emissions than the previous generation of coal plants. That's good for the environment, and it's also good for our member-owners because it helps maintain affordable electricity. And, the state's economy benefits because Iowa continues to be competitive with the states around us in attracting new businesses that provide jobs for Iowans.

Wind energy is part of the solution, too, and we're investing in it. But since the wind doesn't blow 24/7, it can't be counted on by itself to reliably meet demand. Energy efficiency also is part of the solution, and we're in the process of enhancing the energy-efficiency programs we offer to our member-owners to help them use energy wisely and to save money on their home-energy costs.

On the federal level, much fact finding, discussion and a significant commitment to research and development are needed to ensure a balanced solution that addresses concerns about global climate change. Some say we have only one chance to get this right, and if that's true, we need to make informed decisions, not emotional choices.

MARION DENGER is president of the board of directors of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, which represents the interests of cooperatives that provide power in each of Iowa's 99 counties.


Source: http://www.desmoinesregiste...

APR 25 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/14663-proposed-plant-balances-concerns-over-power-rates-climate-change
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