Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Green power is not green
by Dale Hellewell, 4/20/07
Dale Hellewell lives in Eastern Washington, Grant County, where the people own and operate two dams on the Columbia River. He is retired, but spent 17 years in Grant County PUD's customer service trying to explain to customers why, among other things, that green power is not green.
The time is past due that the truth about green power be published, the reality of green power is not green. Advocates of green power deliberately side step the real truth of green power ignoring all production emissions for the manufacturing green power equipment relative to the expected life and electrical output compared to hydro-power.
Worse yet are all those batteries. Green power cannot be used with any degree of efficiency without massive banks of storage batteries because the production of energy by nature is erratic relative to demand. The manufacturing, use, and disposal of these batteries are in themselves a huge environmental hazard.
Now the salmon. Recent years with ideal spawning conditions have yielded record runs of spawning salmon, silencing the salmon advocates. Before the dams were built there were waterfalls that hindered the migration of salmon much more than the fish ladders do. Arguments about the slack water behind the dams are unfounded. Salmon to not swim upstream in the fast moving water anyway. They follow the shoreline where there is much less resistance to the upstream travel. Ask any Native American why their gill nets are in the slackest water along the course of the river.
Hydro projects have turned millions of acres of waste land all over the US into productive, wild life rich environments. Remove the dams and you kill the birds and wildlife they protect.
Make no mistake, I do believe in taking care of the earth but not by lying or using half-truths or at the expense of what is best for mankind. My experience with radical environmentalists is that they do not practice what they preach (look a Al Gore).
Without a cause radical environmentalists would not have their tax-payer supported government job or a government paycheck, plenty of reason for many to falsify information to further their cause (remember the Spotted Owl?).
Did you ever see the Seattle fish blender ad? They hinted that the hydro turbines worked like a blender, killing the fish. Reality is that the blades are so far apart that you need a ladder to climb from one to another and they rotate at 87.5 rpm not 1200 rpm like a blender. Relative to size, it is like having one fish in a tanker truck full of water.
The fish advocates claim that each dam kills 10% of the salmon smolts. Do the math, there are 10 dams that fish pass through... hmmm. Of the returning salmon one species has the highest rate of returning salmon and they pass through all 10 dams.
Artic Terns on a man-made island near the mouth of the Columbia River consume more smolts than all the other predators combined.
By the controlling vote from two extremely liberal counties in Washington, Pierce and King, where the rest of the state is always out-voted, a recent "green power" bill was passed resulting in increased power costs for Washington and part of Oregon.
As you already know, hydro-power is not considered "green". No power source will ever be 100% green, not even hydro, however, if by looking at the whole picture, hydro comes as close and we can get for now. Emissions from the manufacturing of equipment, building dams, and maintenance of dams relative to the electrical output, long life, and they do not use any water recourses, dams are far superior to wind, and solar.
Eventually I believe that hydrogen based systems will become one of the major producers of energy, but for now it isn't profitable enough for investors to pursue.
On other subjects:
There has been much said about bio-fuels, again sidestepping production cost and emissions. It is time that the true cost, emissions, environmental hazards etc of all these so-called green power alternatives be calculated and included in the cost both in dollars and the environment of the final products.
Does recycling actually save energy? No, but it does create lots of tax-paying jobs and reduces the size of the garbage piles.
Simple economics 101: Did you ever consider that folks that get their entire source of income from a government paycheck do not actually pay taxes? Deductions from their paycheck and all of the other "taxes" they pay only reduce the amount they take from the tax pot. They never actually add to the tax pot. The entire tax pot is generated and paid by the private sector.
There are only two ways the government can get revenue, from the private sector and by increasing the national debt. As government grows, the private sector shrinks, reducing the tax pot, and then the national debt goes up some more.
I live in Eastern Washington, Grant County, where the people own and operate two dams on the Columbia River.
I am retired, but spent 17 years in Grant County PUD's customer service trying to explain to customers why, among other things, that green power is not green.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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