11 August 2009

Shut Down Boulder's Coal Plant? And replace with what?

Yesterday's Daily Camera had an interesting article about local efforts to force a shut down of Boulder's Valmont Power Plant (shown below), which burns coal. A letter in today's Daily Camera explained what was missing from both the article and the debate: if not Boulder's coal plant, then what? Here is the letter in full:

Shut down and replace with what?

I read that Boulder environmentalists want to shut down the Valmont, coal-fired power plant. Where then will our electricity come from? They propose no viable, base-load alternative. Wind and solar can reduce our pressure on fossil fuel base-load power generation but they can never replace it because wind and solar cannot operate 24-hours a day.

To shut down the Valmont plant now would either result in Boulder freezing in the dark winter nights or, realistically, putting more stress on other coal fired plants that are emitting far more pollutants and carbon dioxide than the relatively efficient Valmont plant.

Such proposals from the radical left remind me of the creation scientists and global warming deniers of the radical right. I can only hope that public policy will be driven by political moderates and those governed by real science.