An economic question,but also a moral issue
Can Idaho Power turn off the wind?
Whether to turn off the wind, as explained in a recent Statesman article, is a question of preferential use of wind vs. coal. Regarding cost (and convenience), the Statesman article did not address environmental, health and related future or long-term economic costs of wind vs. coal. It may be pertinent to point out that the matter poses a moral issue in deciding whether present energy users should pay more now in order to provide a better future for our children and grandchildren.
PAM AISHLIN, Boise
Idaho Powers whining
Whining and bullying are very negative behaviors that are normally exhibited in the immature. For about the last year, Idaho Power has exhibited both traits. Idaho Power is spending a lot of money and employee time whining to the ratepayers and the Public Utilities Commission regarding renewable energy. A corporation acting in a mature way would be spending the money and time figuring out how to best integrate renewables into the grid, as many other utilities are doing. The company is also bullying the developers and the PUC to get its way.
The facts show that the biggest rate increase for many years was because of the companys new gas plant. The need for this plant is debatable. The company failed to put out a press release regarding the 6.8 percent rate increase on July 1. The PUCs release can be found here: www.puc.idaho.gov/internet/press/062912_Langleyfinal.htm.
When the company purchases power it is not allowed to mark up those purchases to the ratepayer. When the company has new asset investments, like a power plant or transmission line, it can be allowed at rate of return or mark up. This rate of return is passed on to the ratepayers.
JOHN WEBER, Boise
An unreliable source
I felt the article about wind power (Cold front shows promise of wind power) in the Oct. 23 Statesman was informative but incomplete.
Wind power may be predictable in the short term but it isnt reliable in the long term. Theres a difference: i.e., when planning to meet the high electrical load for a typical southern Idaho warm summer day, Idaho Power must be able to reliably meet that demand. While it knows the coal and gas-fired plants will be available and the hydropower will usually be available, it really cannot count on the wind power. Thus, it cannot simply turn off or decommission the conventional plants. And thats the problem with the economics the need for investing in other, conventional forms of electrical generation doesnt go away just because lots of wind turbines have been installed.
Electrical ratepayers of several German utilities are going to be hit with a doubling of the renewable-energy surcharge on their electric bills on Jan. 1. They will be paying a surcharge of several cents on each kilowatt-hour, which is very significant. And, no one knows where it will end. This is what I think Idaho Power is trying to avoid.
DAVE CHURCHILL, Boise
Tougher laws are needed
This letter is specific to the inadequacy of Idaho penal code in the area of animal cruelty. With regard to the recent discovery of the cruel, morally objectionable treatment of cows at the Bettencourt Dairies in Hansen, it is an injustice that the law provides only for misdemeanor charges to be brought against the persons suspected of such horrible treatment of these animals. Only after two previous convictions of animal abuse or cruelty is the prosecuting attorney enabled to file felony charges. I appeal to our state legislators and our governor to find some sort of immediate remedy to this travesty, using whatever urgent means to remedy this emerging matter of moral disgust. Also, it is the duty of Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs to seek punishments to the full extent of law, in the event the suspects are convicted in a court of law. Animals are sentient creatures, and as such, should not be allowed to be subject to such abuse with the disregard for punishing those who would abuse and harm them. Leniency in this matter cannot serve justice, nor send proper messages of warning to potential, further violators. Its in your hands, Otter!
ROSE SELL, Meridian
Lockdown handled well
Recently at Renaissance High School, a lockdown occurred that shut the school down for about an hour and a half. As a parent, I would like to thank the school administrators, teachers and emergency responders for doing their jobs so professionally during this crisis. At such times, people in charge have to operate under conditions of great uncertainty and stress. We have a fine set of police, fire and emergency medical responders in the greater Boise area and they probably dont get the public thanks they deserve, often enough. From what we could tell, all performed flawlessly and reacted appropriately, and we were kept informed by the Meridian School District. Luckily there was no active shooter, just someone with poor judgment about where to handle a firearm. To that person I would like to say, as one firearm owner to another, think about the consequences of your actions. It may not be illegal to display a handgun in your car in the parking lot of a school, but it sure is dumb. Maybe through an appropriate act of public service, you can find a way to apologize to all involved.
LARRY SUTTON, Boise
Do your part to make the world a better place
Use no-ethanol gas and help to save the world.
I started to buy no-ethanol gas and learned that I am making the world a better place. My fuel economy has increased more than the percentage of ethanol on the other fuel. This means that I am using less real gasoline, using zero ethanol fuel. My vehicles all run better, my small engines (outboard, lawn mower, etc.) all run better, and the real gas doesnt change the color on the fuel tanks or gum up the carburetors. My trucks still pass the emission test on no-ethanol fuels so I dont even need ethanol to help with that. The surplus ethanol can probably be used for something else. The surplus grain can reduce food costs and make it easier for third-world countries to buy enough food to eat.
See? I use less fuel, do not harm the air and help others afford to eat. I am helping to save the world! Please join me.
DAVE SZPLETT, Kuna
SEE SPOT WALK
Parking is a problem
This is in regards to the letter in the Saturday, Oct. 6 letters to the editor. Evelyn Worden has my exact sentiments regarding See Spot Walk. You go girl.
MARY COOK, Eagle