Wind energy should be our goal

May 20, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

The Thursday, May 8, issue of The World was a remarkable edition, in that it afforded Bay Area residents another opportunity for a comparison between two ongoing energy stories.

The first story was about the high prospects for $48 million of Department of Energy funding for a novel West Coast demonstration wind farm to be located 18 miles off the Coos Bay shore. The second story was about the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas (LNG) endeavor, essentially promoted by a Canadian parent company, where it is estimated that a couple of hundred million dollars might be infused into the local economy over a few years.

A previous Feb. 9, 2014, editorial in The World regarding these two Bay Area energy initiatives highlighted their prospective complementarity and interdependency. A choice between the two initiatives might be necessary.

In my view, the off-shore wind farm wins out as the clear choice for support since it is testing a novel and sustainable technology promoted by the U.S. Energy Department.  Conversely, the non-renewable energy Jordan Cove LNG plan is based on last century carbon-based energy distribution and consumption. Think about it.

Since the LNG terminal could import or export natural gas, several additional questions remain. For example, do we as Oregon citizens think that exporting LNG from Jordan Cove is in our state’s best interest? Do Oregonians have a clear understanding of what the positions of the governor’s office, state representatives, and Oregon’s congressional representatives are on LNG import and export from our port? If export shipping of LNG from Jordan Cove to Asia occurs, does that mean Oregon citizens condone the means by which domestic and foreign (e.g., Canadian, amongst others) energy companies are extracting and storing the natural gas that would be shipped from our port? Let’s answer these and related questions for the sake of constructive debate and informing our fellow Oregon citizens.

From my view, the choice seems clear between these two related Bay Area energy stories. Let’s be pioneers and go with the new for the 21st century. Let’s go with the wind. By doing so, we will be at the forefront of advancing original wind technology on the West Coast, which represents our unique way of Oregon thinking and will further enhance our hallmark Oregon pride of originality.

John Gerdes

Coos Bay

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