Engaged On Energy


Welcome to this week’s Engaged on Energy. I’m Rick Whitbeck, and tonight, it is time to dispel a myth perpetuated by those who want to see our country move away from reliable energy sources.


Listen to any of them, and you hear that the world needs to stop mining coal, and that doing so immediately is the only way to save the earth from guaranteed destruction. They say coal is horrible for the atmosphere, and that stopping the mining and use of coal in manufacturing needed to be done yesterday and that tomorrow is way too late.


They couldn’t be further from the truth. Without coal, there is ZERO chance of having ‘green’ energy.


The ‘green’ movement wants wind to become a dominant source of electricity. But, according to the IEEE, to make the steel required for the wind turbines that might operate by 2030, you’ll need fossil fuels equivalent to 600 million metric tons of coal.


When you think that Alaska produces less than 2 million metric tons, and Wyoming produces around 275 million metric tons annually, what I hear is ‘bring on the coal mining!’, not ‘we need to stop coal mining!’


Then, there is the often-quoted misnomer that solar panels can be made without fossil fuels. WRONG! The process of producing solar panel technology requires an input of fossil fuels at nearly every step. Much of that is coal, because it burns at a high temperature, and helps ensure that the components of the panel fuse together.


Coal is still used to heat our homes in parts of Interior Alaska and throughout Wyoming, and let’s not forget that the coal industry is responsible for thousands of jobs between these two states.


Simply put, coal can’t go anywhere anytime soon, unless the movement pushing the transition away from traditional energy has a secret energy source that no one knows about!


That’ll do it for this week. Be sure to contact me at rick@powerthefuture.com with comments or suggestions for a future segment. Thanks for tuning in, and have an energy-filled week, everyone!