The Sierra Club versus Electricity

By Alan Caruba

In early July the Sierra Club celebrated the fact that, “Today, 100 of those planned coal plants have been defeated or abandoned.” They crowed over the fact that a year ago there were plans for 150 new plants and that they had successfully thwarted the provision of electrical power around the nation. As for as the Sierra Club is concerned, “This milestone marks a significant shift in the way Americans are looking at our energy choices. Cities, states, businesses and electric utilities are all moving away from the polluting coal power of the past.”

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Today’s coal-fired plants are all equipped with very expensive technology that eliminates the pollution of the past, “scrubbing” their massive stacks before any is emitted. They are not polluting anything, but they are providing affordable electrical energy.

Coal represents just a shade over fifty percent of all the electricity Americans use. It is so abundant here in America that the provision of those 150 plants would have ensured that the nation had a significant portion of the additional power it requires for a growing population and our manufacturing sector.

Why does the Sierra Club oppose coal-fired plants? It says that “carbon dioxide pollution, a main cause of global warming” is the reason, but CO2 is not a pollutant. It is the gas of life because without it not one single blade of grass or any other vegetation grows on planet Earth. Our food supply, crops and the livestock that depend upon them, is the result of CO2.

And, of course, there is NO global warming. The planet has been cooling for the past decade and the science of CO2 demonstrates that it plays no role whatever with regard to major climate trends. The Sierra Club’s opposition to coal-fired plants is entirely based on a LIE.

It doesn’t stop there, however. As far back as 1974, the Sierra Club has been opposed to nuclear energy as well. They called for “adequate national and global policies to curb energy over-use and unnecessary economic growth.”

“Unnecessary economic growth”? If a nation does not maintain its economic growth is also does not provide jobs. It does not have the means by which to fund defense, infrastructure, and to compete globally in manufacturing and exports. This is an idiotic policy, but not if your aim, your purpose is to attack the most essential element of growth, the provision of energy.

A visit to the Sierra Club website provides ample evidence of its objection to all forms of energy except the least practical and effective, the so-called “renewable” forms such as wind and solar. Even T. Boone Pickens who gambled on the largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle has thrown in the towel, announcing that his $2 billion investment is now, in retrospect, rather foolish given the need to get the power from the farm to where it is needed. Pickens is now stuck with 687 giant wind turbines, each of which is taller than a 30-story building.

The same may be said of solar power that, like wind, is not dependable and must be located far from the transmission lines and the nation’s urban areas that are most in need of electricity. At what point will Americans begin to realize that the giant Green organizations like the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and others stand in opposition to the very thing they most desperately need, energy? At what point will Americans begin to realize that failing to access its own vast natural resources, coal, oil and natural gas, is suicidal?

One hopes it will not be before the economy is so severely damaged that we cannot borrow or fund the coal-fired and nuclear plants that we need to keep us from being figuratively and literally in the dark? See blog post here.

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