June 4, 2018 Letter-to-the-Editor by Eric Engle, Parkersburg, WV The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
A study released May 21 by the Rocky Mountain Institute found that “… regionally specific clean energy portfolios already outcompete proposed gas-fired generators, and/or threaten to erode their revenue within the next 10 years. Thus, the $112 billion of gas-fired power plants currently proposed or under construction, along with $32 billion of proposed gas pipelines to serve these power plants, are already at risk of becoming stranded assets.”
A Forbes article on the study states that “The authors alert ratepayers who may be saddled with the cost of stranded assets, and they urge gas-plant investors and regulators to reconsider planned natural gas plants and pipelines.”
Over 360,000 Americans are employed by the solar industry and growing. This is more than coal and nuclear combined. Over 105,000 Americans are employed by the wind industry and growing. The Department of Labor projects that the two fastest growing jobs through 2026 will be solar installer and wind turbine service technician. To quote a writer in The Hill news publication, “fossil fuels don’t even crack the top twenty.”
According to CNBC, a new survey from global auditing and consulting firm Deloitte found that “68 percent of electric power buyers said they are very concerned about climate change and their carbon footprint.”
Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action’s message is “Solar Works: More Solar = More Jobs.”
The future is now and the energy economy of West Virginia needs to catch up. Oil and gas development and petrochemical build out make no economic, environmental, health or safety sense. We must invest in and grow solar, wind, battery storage, water and energy efficiency in West Virginia today!