Stand up for clean coal

Marie Pozarnsky


There is much dreaming of changes for our country these days. And I call it dreaming because there is no practicality involved in the vision. We as North Dakotans tend to be practical people. We deal daily for the winter months with the real possibility of people and things freezing solid. There is no denial in our approach to survival.

But young people these days are less involved in actual survival, unlike kids of the past who actually hauled wood or coal for the heating stove for the household. Some of us remember the decision the 60’s and 70’s to build those coal plants because it was the cheapest source of energy that would heat homes and businesses. We can’t forget that it still is today. The science has not advanced to the point that we have storage for that much power from wind and solar. We in the northland could not survive on wind and solar, much less afford it if we could. If there was storage, our heating costs would quadruple.

In the 70’s and 80’s, environmental controls were required and placed on ALL of our power plants. That plume you see coming from the stacks and cooling towers is steam. It is called clean coal for a reason.

Right now, those same power plants are providing heat to those windmill gear boxes so that they don’t freeze solid. The windmill on and off cycle present with the ebbing of the wind actually decreases the life of the coal plants and subsidized, can compete with price. But if the subsidies end, you will be paying 4 times the price for wind.

Please educate your kids at home about energy sources in ND. Let them see that we are dependent upon coal and we should fight for clean coal. It is our future until the science of hydrogen catches up. Wind and solar are not the answer to heating, but an adjunct to our power system.

Let’s raise a generation of practical kids. Let’s encourage their teachers to arrange tours of those coal plants come spring and introduce our kids to the practical side of existence. My kids and grand-kids were excited about careers in the energy industry when introduced to it. Energy is the future of our state.