Letter: Natural gas is inexpensive and efficient


I am responding to Jill Eikenhorst’s May 15 letter to the editor of the Whidbey News-Times.

In the attempt to purify our air and cut to “net zero”carbon emissions, electricity power advocates seem to have tunnel vision. All they see is a clean energy source heating homes, businesses and factories pollution-free, electric cars, clean, wonderful air and ignore the rest. They tout wind turbines and solar panels, all new construction be electrical friendly and a carbon-free utopia is upon us.

Then we have the environmentalists and tribes pushing to get rid of power generating dams to save the salmon, people who don’t want nuclear power in their back yards, and eliminating all fossil fuel power generating plants. Exactly where will all the electricity come from to support these requirements?

Power from wind turbines requires wind, but that does not blow all the time, solar panels require sunshine that, here is the Northwest, is severely lacking during long, dark, cold winter months during which electricity is at peak demand.

Power storage requirements in batteries to support periods of no sunshine, no wind would be massive.

Battery power back up would dry up in a matter of minutes due to the heavy load from all-electric homes, cars recharging, businesses, lighting and, don’t forget, millions of phones and computers recharging.

It is estimated that New York City alone would have to spend $3 trillion on batteries just to store enough energy for a seven-day period.

How many megawatt hours of electricity are required to support our grid requirements and where will that power come from that is reliable?

The East Coast has the government go-ahead for thousands of off-shore wind turbines to provide power that will fail to provide enough power during summer months, when air-conditioning demand is high, because of periods of stagnant air due to high pressure systems, that is, no air movement to power these thousands of wind turbines.

Wind turbines require about 30 mph winds for full power output and a minimum of 10 mph just to turn the blades at all.

What about damage to wind turbines and loss of power when hurricanes with winds of over 100 mph are in play? Then there is the problem of birds being killed by the whirling blades when they do turn. I have had past experience with an all-electric house here in the Northwest. My power bill for a past January-February period, when it was really cold, was close to $500.

It didn’t take me long afterward to switch to natural gas, a much cheaper fuel. Now, my home is as toasty warm as I desire with now very reasonable electric and gas bills.

Natural gas is plentiful, cheap and efficient and already in use in thousands of homes.

Dictating all electric homes with little-to-no consideration to where consistently reliable power will come from, and at a reasonable cost, is foolhardy. There is no good reason why natural gas and electricity cannot work together and efficiently.

China and India are not cutting emissions 45 percent to help control warming but environmentalists expect our country to go it alone, unrealistically, and save the world from a possible .1 degree Celsius temperature change 100 years from now.

Earth’s atmosphere has handled, in centuries past, far, far more pollutants from massive fires and volcanoes than man has ever created and we are still here so, where is the urgency?

Ed Hickey

Oak Harbor

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