Blevins: We should look ahead

To the editor:

Having read the letter to the editor by John S. Kinkaid, I feel compelled to provide an alternative perspective. I certainly regret the possible loss of jobs caused by reduced use of coal; one of my grandfathers worked for many years as a coal miner in Mount Harris.

To be most effective, one needs to use the best arguments — there is, as yet, no such thing as clean coal. Our cleaned up power plants are still very dirty. It is distressing to me that so little is being done locally to develop clean coal. It would be most reasonable for our local energy companies to be spending much more of their vast resources on developing clean energy. Coal is the greatest source of energy in the U.S. — we must learn to use it properly.

While no one wants excessive regulation, there is near universal acceptance of the fact that our current economic problems were caused by inadequate regulation of the financial industry. The recent coal mine deaths in West Virginia would not have happened had there been better regulation or enforcement of regulations.

To understand why there is a growing problem with energy, you have to look wider.

When China has a dust storm, the sunsets turn red in Craig.

After World War II, the U.S. had a huge advantage in science, engineering and manufacturing; that advantage has been slowly going away.

China recently surpassed America as the largest car market. Since they have four times our population, they will dwarf our sales one day.

The same change is occurring for other energy uses, such as manufacturing. Even though we invented and developed television, no television sets are currently manufactured in the USA. Essentially all electronics manufacturing is now done in Asia.

When you fill up your tank, you are competing with everyone else in the world for that gas.

Energy of all sorts is becoming more expensive, no matter what President Obama does.

Rather than trying to set the calendar back, we need to work for the world that is coming. We should be manufacturing wind turbines and other sources of clean energy here. Of greatest local concern, we should be developing the technology that will let Denver burn our coal without leaving them in an ugly brown cloud.

Rather than trying to stop the inevitable, we should be trying to get compensation for our losses, something that will build for the future.

Jim Blevins


rhammel 3 years, 11 months ago

A few years ago, there was a new power plant in Florida that used a new coal technology called coal gasification. It went online somewhere around 1998-2000. Does anyone know the outcome of that plant?


jamcolo 3 years, 11 months ago

Tampa Electric runs Polk Power Station with 5units. Three are gas fired simple-cycle turbines the last two use combine cycle technology.

Combined-cycle design consists of a combustion turbine, a heat recovery steam generator, and a steam turbine. The exhaust heat from the combustion turbine is recovered in the heat recovery steam generator to produce steam. This steam then passes through a steam turbine to produce more electricity.

All are run on gas made from coal,coke,or virtually any carbon-based feed stock rich.

Closer to home: Advanced Fuels LLC and is planning to build a Coal-To-Liquid gasification plant in Medicine Bow, Wyoming.The plant is expected to be online in 2013 and will produce 15,000 to 20,000 BPD ultra-pure gasoline, electricity and the CO2 will be used in the Powder River basin oilfields for enhanced oil recovery.


als362 3 years, 11 months ago

I hope Mr. Blevins is happy with his supply of electricity when the wind quits blowing, and the sun goes down. In contrast to popular belief, and what the untruthful president with his costly cap and trade wants you to believe. To get enough base load power to supply America as things are today, you would have to cover the entire country with wind generators, and solar panels. Also in contrast to popular belief you cannot store AC power like that used in your home. Again in contrast to polular belief, we will run out of narural gas someday. The only way this country is going to be able to ween itself off of coal, will be for Americans to lose thier unnecessary fear of nuclear power. That is the only power source available at this time that will provide all the electricity that we are currently using daily, without having a generator on each street corner and not emitting anything.


cag81625 3 years, 11 months ago

If I recall from the last 15 seconds that I was reading Mr. Blevins letter, he was talking about a coal future- clean coal, as part of the equation of the future. Yes, yes, the "sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow", but wind, solar, coal gasification, and yes, nuclear are all part of our future. Great ideas and great innovation have got us to where we are. Think about the next fifty years, or the next hundred. Will our descendants look back on us in awe, or will they curse us for complacency and unwillingness to do as our forbears did- think at least a little bit about the future.


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