Letter: We must move toward clean electricity


I read with interest Ed Hickey’s letter (Whidbey News-Times, March 23) making a good case for the idea that reliance on electricity makes us vulnerable. While I agree that today’s electric power supply has its issues, I think a more complete look shows that the alternative, burning fossil fuel, flashes an even bigger danger signal. Rather than an “either-or” energy situation, today we need both fossil fuels and cleaner electric power. But the edge must go to clean electricity.

New electric power supply and distribution will need to evolve with the times. Locally, we have a case in point. Our Island Transit is looking ahead to provide a backup to PSE’s traditional power grid. Todd Morrow, director of Island Transit, recently testified in our nation’s capital that power capacity is a rural transportation concern (News-Times article, Rick Larsen and Island Transit, March 26). Accordingly, Island Transit is acting to make it possible to create a micro grid that taps into local power supply, as a supplement and backup to the regional grid.

In addition to creating new ways of producing electric power, we must all recognize the complete picture on liabilities associated with fossil fuel reliance. Until recently, Europe was very dependent on Russia for oil and gas. For obvious reasons, and at some sacrifice, this is changing with the realization that fossil fuel dependency can carry with it political baggage.

Russian oil and gas supply is bad news. Not only does it do the wrong things politically, but Russia’s export of fossil fuel also literally pays for multiple terribly wrong wars.

It is clear to me, for many reasons that include climate concern but go well beyond, we really need to give the advantage to electric power. We need an earnest energy transition away from fossil fuel just as soon as we possibly can.

Lee B. James