Letter: Coloradans should be ’scared’ of Polis’ renewable energy plan | SteamboatToday.com
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Letter: Coloradans should be ’scared’ of Polis’ renewable energy plan

Given the current track record of California’s “green” mission, we should be very scared.  Colorado is closely following the path that California has taken to implement “renewable” energy over the next couple of decades. Governor Polis expects Colorado to be 100% dependent on renewable energy by 2040.  California’s renewable energy currently makes up 36% of its electrical generation and their Democrat controlled government has set mandates of 60% for 2030 and 100% for 2045.

Over the last several years, California has been unable to ensure reliable power for its citizens because of their mandated dependency on renewable power. California’s primary power provider, PG&E, has put twice as much money toward renewable energy as it has toward maintaining current power infrastructure. Deteriorating infrastructure has caused many Californians to endure rolling blackouts in the hot summer months as a consequence.  California’s neglected power grid has devastatingly caused at least half the wildfires over the last several years, with millions of acres and tens of thousands of buildings and homes burned, and hundreds of people killed. Arguably, smoke from these wildfires has more than erased any CO2 reductions that might have accrued from renewables over these years. Is their mission worth it?

Recent technological advances make conventional energy sources much less impactful on the environment and they remain far cheaper than renewable energy. Current costs to drill one oil well and to build one wind turbine are about the same.  However, hourly production costs to produce one barrel of oil are ten times less for the same energy produced by the wind turbine.  Moreover, it costs about 50 cents to store one barrel of oil versus $200 for battery capacity to store the equivalent energy.  

And what about manufacturing renewable infrastructure?  Conventional energy is required to build wind, solar, and the batteries required to store renewable power. Building a wind farm to produce enough power for 75,000 homes requires 30,000 tons of iron, 50,000 tons of concrete, and 900 tons of non-recyclable plastic. A solar plant to provide the same output would cost nearly twice that amount. 250 tons of earth is needed to extract the necessary material for one electric car battery weighing about ½ ton.  None of this considers the large environmental consequences of waste from battery manufacturing and disposal.

It seems difficult to rationalize Governor Polis’s “Roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy” given these human, material, and environmental costs.

Lindsay Wert

Routt County


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