Saturday, November 10, 2007

MEA cancels coal plant idea

Reading the Nov. 10, 2007 ADN, MEA (Matanuska Electric Association) announced it is canceling efforts to build a large coal plant in Matsu. They do have issues with not having any of their own generation, but this idea seemed ill advised.

It was reported that MEA will stop pushing this coal plant idea due to poor economics. This seems like face saving. What should be apparent is that, forward looking, there will be less economic incentive to burning coal with CO2 emissions factored in. A wise decision, for whatever the stated rationale.

If those proponents for coal are so gung-ho, why haven't they worked to buy power from the AIDEA-GVEA-Usibelli experimental coal plant in Healy that cost the state and feds nearly $400 million? Of course, that's only a 50 mw plant.

Long term decisions need to be made with carbon footprint considerations. We're all on the same planet (some more than others) and share a common future with climate change mitigation and adaptation. Coal might be plentiful, but about the most destructive form of non-renewable energy in terms of CO2 and toxic emissions.

Seems like a natural gas bridging solution for just in-state use would allow us about 500 years of stability. What's the big push to export?

That being said, I hope someday MEA will get be able to be less political and confrontational in its approach to getting things done. They may feel besieged, but maybe there is a reason.


Blogger Philip Munger said...

I wrote about this yesterday at my new blog:

I hope to be able to interview some of the people involved with this issue on Monday, between 1 and 3 in the afternoon on KUDO. They play the program live on the web.

2:35 PM  

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