In regards to Sen. Ankney’ opinion (Feb. 25: The case for coal):
The senator quoted a lot of facts in his Op-ed but, only about half of them that he should have.
He predicted with doom and gloom that the black and brownouts that hit Texas will occur here and elsewhere.
The fault of these power outages is renewable energy being used in Texas. One of the facts he left out is Texas gets only 10 percent of its energy from wind and solar.
The cold did shut down some wind turbines but it also shut down a nuclear power plant on the east side. Frankly, doesn’t it seem odd the huge Texas power grid would shut down after losing just 10 percent of its power sources ?
What the senator also left out was that in 2011, there was a cold snap in Texas and a large power failure. The powerful Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates utilities, conducted a study of the problem and found the company lacking in procedures, equipment, and preventive measures for cold weather. Some of these were as simple as insulating pipes and putting critical equipment inside heated buildings.
The power company that seems to have more power than the commission agreed to fix the problems found by the commission but didn’t have to explore or look for other problems that could occur. Well, we saw how well that worked out.
Then there was the fight that the present Texas governor had with the federal government to keep Texas from being attached to the nationwide grid. Even former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Texans would rather be without power for three days than to deal with federal regulations. I wonder if he called the families of the 50 Texans who died due to the cold to get their input on federal regulations.
I think the hard right wing isn’t going to be happy with deregulation until our rivers are on fire again and we can’t see our cities and mountains due to smog.
Will Montana lose some good jobs as coal is replaced? Probably. But those jobs are not being lost due to renewables.
Maybe the senator and his ilk would do the state better if they had worked at getting wind turbines and solar panels produced in his district instead of fighting to keep a climate change-maker like coal in business.