Readers' views for Jan. 7, 2011
Wind energy 'dysfunctional'
In a recent column, Carl Sampson wrote, "I should say here that I am not opposed to wind turbines. I'm opposed to subsidizing wind turbines."
When you preface your opposition to wind subsidies by stating you have no problem with the technology, you drain your argument of reason and suasion.
All conventional power technologies are subsidized -- and the public and consumers benefit from the convergence. The reason not to subsidize wind is that it provides no modern power. Instead, wind generates dysfunctional, hiccuping energy that cannot be converted to modern power performance, in the process making electricity production less efficient and more expensive.
"Wind is the worst of all worlds, inducing a double whammy for rate and taxpayers." The subsidies are wasted because they produce no benefit and the inefficiencies require costs to substantially increase, raising rates.
Such articles as this only add to the Orwellian crossover into the Twilight Zone....
Biomass won't boost economy
I notice many articles about biomass and how our government is doing backflips to get the thing going, and I thought I would share some thoughts, experiences and concerns.
First is the notion that the timber industry can supply it. At current harvest levels it cannot. Especially to get the tonnage needed it would cut into the paper chip market.
Contrary to some who say saw logs would not go to that market, they are right except that young reproduction stands would be mowed down at a younger age and never make it to saw log age.
Besides, some environmental group would come along and say some bug needs the limbs and other slash generated. Oh, and by the way, I had 70-plus acres of stumps and limbs in piles with gravel road access and could not sell it.
Second is the fact that we have already seen the effects of ethanol on the feed markets, and I hear it is going up as well.
The other thing that really bothers me most is that our government, in near-depression times, is trying to jump-start our economy with new, unproven industries instead of relying on proven real economy-based industries that helped build this country.
For example, they promote a non-timber related economy in a region that is rich in natural resources like the Pacific Northwest and leave the lumber production to the Canadians.
Our governor-elect said he would create timber jobs. We will see. Last time I looked, about half of our state's timber is under federal control, so let's see what he can do about that.