I spent the better half of my morning and afternoon touring the Martin Drake Power Plant. While indeed an eyesore, and the sight of SO2 being emitted from the smoke stacks, seems scary, the plant itself is a piece of the cities history. I found the workers knowledgeable, helpful, accommodating and extremely pleasant. However, I realize this does not ease the concerns of the citizens living in our beautiful city.
No matter how you look at this issue, the word toxins is scary. And let’s face it… When it comes to coal or natural gas, you will have toxins to deal with. The plant is doing as much as they physically and financially can in this situation. Not only that, but they are ahead of schedule for decommissioning the plant prior to the target year of 2035. Which is all well and good, but for those who want this power plant down, I challenge you with this question. What will a growing city replace it with?
Nuclear power is not really an option. Nuclear power plants need a large body of water to maintain its cooling issues. Coal and Gas are great and economical, but it’s an eyesore and produces potential health risks. So this leaves us with two things. Get our power off “the grid” or go to renewable energy. Right?
Let’s look at that. Buying power off the grid lends itself to problems like brown outs or black outs during certain times when the grid is over extended. While at first it may appear to be less money, over time it will be more costly and those costs will be passed on to you. So is that a practical idea? Maybe.
Now renewable energy seems like the way to go for sure! And trust me, I’ll hug any tree within a 5000 mile radius and be proud of it. But for Colorado Springs, this may not be so practical. During high winds sunshine days and clear skies, it’ll work. But on those snowy days, rainy days, overcast days or no wind days, we will all need bicycles hooked to our homes to help generate the power if there is no actual power source. Also, the cost and maintenance of renewable energy is considerably higher due to developing technology. The cost for destroyed solar panels or turbine propellers is quite high. Companies must regain their losses some how, and we taxpayers are the “somewhere.”
So what happens then? How do we resolve the Martin Drake issue? I wish I had a black and white answer for you. Something definitive. But I don’t. And you can listen to those in council or who are trying to be on council, tell you what they think they’re going to do. But we need the support of you, the voters. What is it that you would like to do?
Personally I’d like to spend a bit more and move to renewable energy, but I want to see the price tag on that. But many of you may not want to go in that direction. I work for you! My vested interest is in you! Please share with me how you would like to work together on this, and should I be elected, your voice will be heard.