Brian Sewell: Bad energy deal

March 20, 2013 

Bad energy deal

Suspending doubt that Rep. Mike Hager – a former employee of Duke Energy with ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council – has the consumer’s best interests at heart, we should be more skeptical of his arguments for reversing six years of homegrown energy innovation in our state (“House bill would end energy program,” March 14).

He says that that energy sources should be chosen on a least-cost basis rather than being selected by government policy. So should we not first account for the full cost of conventional sources?

North Carolina’s coal-fired power plants pollute the air and water, have debilitating health impacts and are the largest contributor of greenhouse-gas emissions. Even as Duke and Progress convert Depression-era coal-fired units to natural gas generation, unlined coal ash ponds will threaten water for years to come. Does anyone still believe a full accounting of the price of energy production is reflected on our electric bills?

Many would be happy to pay a little more for cleaner energy, and count me among them. Despite the deluge of fossil-fuel-funded misinformation, the future of wind and solar is unequivocally brighter than fossil fuels.

Brian Sewell, Boone

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