High Country News published an article in it's May 2005 issue titled The Great Energy Divide about the challenges consumers face in getting their OWN power companies to build windmills instead of coal fired power plants.
Although an initiative had been voted for by Coloradans, the power companies hadn't made any plans to build any windmills, and kept right on planning to build a number of new coal fired power plants. Apparently, they don't believe that the customer is always right – or in the power of democracy.
One of the biggest opponents of the Colorado publics' desire for windmills has been Xcel Energy. They really want to build another coal fired power plant. But, why?
High Country News states that: “coal has its obvious appeal: It's a known technology, it's reliable and traditionally it's been cheap.
But the price of coal has been rising since 2003. Even the Powder River Basin coal ... the Nation's cheapest – is becoming more expensive. The current breakdown of price per kilowatt hour, according to Xcel's own numbers are: 3 to 4 cents for wind, (and) 4 to 5 cents for coal”
That's right, the company that will more than double its pollution emissions at its Comanche Station when it adds another coal fired power plant, could have done it for cheaper with windmills. These are there own numbers! So, what did they know back in May of 2005 that we didn't know?... They probably knew that the Energy Bill of 2005 would be passed later that year. They knew that sweetheart deals would soon be made in the back rooms of Congress, and that taxpayers would soon be footing the bill in subsidies to make coal cheaper for them again. But definitely not cheaper for us. (Taxpayers are paying the difference.) And most definitely not cheaper when you consider all of the health problems caused by coal pollution that never seem to be included in the power companies' cost accounting.
The lone windmill farm in Lamar, Colorado is owned by a Scottish company – that's right, Scottish. It's now so obvious that the US energy companies have been extraordinarily complacent when it comes to alternative energy. US energy companies don't even know how to build windmills. So, instead of trying to catch up, they've stacked the deck, they've corrupted our government, so that they can keep making profits – no matter how many people get sick, no matter how much our weather is changed, and no matter how much life on our planet dies.
And now they want even more money from us to get us dependent on coal. That's right, they think they can get away with taxpayers paying billions more to them - so that they can continue to CLAIM that coal is cheaper. Check my Nov 10 entry; "Lame Duck Legislation"