Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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Contents
Also see Web Extras

OVEC, Others Challenge Blair Mountain Mining Permit
Dont Let Area Power Plants Make Our Air Even Worse
Renewable Energy and a Renewed E-Council
Coal Expo Exposed:
Sludge is Not Safe
Coal Expo Exposed: Protesters Rally at Candlelight Vigil
Are Your US Senators and Reps Climate Champions?
Oberlin College Doing the Right Thing With Education
Bush Admin. Finalizes Mountain Massacre Study
Christians for the Mountains: Statement by Denise Giardina
Christians for the Mountains Spread Word of Responsible Earthkeeping And That Means an End to Mountaintop Removal
Massey Launches Total Environment Web Assault
Reckless Disregard: Settlement doesnt clear Massey, MSHA
Legal Victory! Judge Tosses OSM's Water Rule Approval
WV Passes Landmark Law Curbing 527 Groups
Capito Got Most
DeLay Money
Texas Congressman Kills National Renewable Energy Standard
Coal Industry Money Fuels Public Policy in West Virginia
Reports Detail
Senate Race Donors
Foxes Guarding Henhouse - Why We Need Real Campaign Finance Reform
Unclean Coal: Myth Perpetrators Get an Earful
Coal Very Costly, Not Cheap, If ALL Impacts Are Factored In
T H A N K S !
Update on Blair Mountain - Feds Want Still More Information
SouthWings Needs YOU!
WV Ranked 7th in Mercury Emissions
From Ireland to
Blair Mountain,
with Love and Lyrics
WV Singers and Songwriters Wanted for Blair Mountain Project
Rosa Parks Lights the Way
Holiday Shopping with OVEC
Students Pray for Kayford
Miscellany
Web Extras Below
Articles not in the printed newsletter
RENEWABLE FUTURE
Change or Die
Courage to Move Beyond Coal
Climate of Change: It's Easy to Save Money Being Green
Sequestration Smokescreen?
Massey settlement agreement scuttles insider trading allegations
Mining 'is turning Eastern Kentucky into a despicable latrine'
Ecoterrorism Tops the Charts
Human Activities Cause of Current Extinction Crisis
Kentucky needs study on truck weight limits
Meanwhile, elsewhere (jobs, money, renewable energy)
Mining pollution in Coal River needs drastic cut, state says
Not Nice to Wonder?
Things you can do for a better planet (while saving money!)
Where's the money for the Island Creek flood project?
Visiting Van, WV


For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

 

Winds of Change Newsletter, December 2005     See sidebar for table of contents

RENEWABLE FUTURE (excerpted)

by Alan Tweddle

One of the biggest customers for West Virginia's coal has already said "Enough!" The government of Ontario has studied alternative energy costs for the past two years and has concluded that they cannot afford coal. In May, they announced that they were shutting down and phasing out all their coal plants and beginning an ambitious program of switching to renewable energybiomass, wind, and solar.

The government of Ontario pays for all the health care for its citizens. They added up the cost of coal pollution-triggered health care (children's asthma, heart and lung diseases, cancers, mercury poisoning). They looked at the TOTAL picture they determined that renewable energy is cheaper.

Ontario also looked at the future and realized that global warming is quite real and they must accept their share of the responsibility to reverse that trend. The hard fact is that global warming demands that we slow down and drastically reduce our burning of fossil fuels, and burning coal is the largest source that has been identified.

Alternative renewable energy is the answer. If the billions of politically-motivated investment dollars currently poured into 'clean coal" technology were instead used for solar research, we and our children would be a lot better off. After all, the sun delivers enough energy in one day to give us all the power that we need for a year. Yet, another $50 million is being thrown at carbon sequestrationa fancy word for shoving the greenhouse gasses way down into the ground or the ocean bottom, and telling it to stay there! Why not invest in the one consistent and free energy that is now, always has been, and will be in the foreseeable future ready and available...the sun!

Visionary technologies are already available. For instance, you can buy photovoltaic (pv) cell roof tiles. When you re-roof your home or build a new one, these tiles will provide most of the power that you need. At certain times of the day, normally at peak summer heat, they will generate more than you can use. In states that have developed a net-metering plan, you sell your surplus to the local utility and they avoid burning fossil fuel. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, for example, where there has been exceptional economic and population growth, avoided building any new generating capacity by making their customers their partners instead of their victims. (Look up www.SMUD.com)

But West Virginia doesn't have net metering....unless you are a huge corporate user with a cogeneration plant on site. The WV Public Utilities Commission is "studying" net metering. Net metering has been studied to death everywhere else, and been adopted in many states as a reasonable method of gaining added generating capacity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Looking at the Ontario decision and the "Renewable Energy Plans (REP)" of many states is critical to any discussion of West Virginia's energy future. When I wrote a draft proposal to just study an REP for West Virginia in the Legislature earlier this year, I was told by open-minded senators that there is definitely "No Interest."

Many studies have determined that renewable energy creates more jobs than the fossil fuel industries. As mountaintop removal has mechanized the mining of coal while wrecking the landscape, it has also wrecked the number of jobs available for miners.

Mr. Tweddle is a Canadian born engineer who has resided in his "retirement" here in Charleston since 1998. He is the state coordinator for www.REPAmerica.org, Republicans for Environmental Protection, COEJL, the Coalition on the Environment in Jewish Life, a member of the West Virginia Environmental Council's lobby team and a board member of the West Virginia Environmental Institute. , sponsors of the WVCOE in Flatwoods. The above is his personal opinion.

This is OVEC saying we envision the United Mine and Renewable Energy Workers of America!

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