Cows and more hot air

December 15th, 2006


 Stolen from piece about tax on belching and farting…
Got beans? As if bovine BSE wasn’t enoughm here they are, trotting this out again:

A big source of greenhouse gas? It’s the cows

And here’s more hot air, Overland in the Beagle, with a threat that if I hear of one more presentation on global warming that isn’t working to shut down some big-ass coal plant, I’ll… I’ll… I’ll:

(and the 720 tons per hour is corrected to 616! Yes, of course, I’ve notified Anne Jacobsen of the Beagle.)

Letter: CO2 needs action â?? not hot air

Carol Overland, Red Wing
The Republican Eagle – 12/14/2006

To the Editor:

Global warming is a well-known scientific and policy issue, acknowledged in the political debates of this past election season. But the magnitude of greenhouse gas on our lives and future generations may well depend on our ability to act now. Enough of this talk that generates more CO2. Letâ??s get to work!

Itâ??s a daunting task. What can we do? We start with our own behavior, our own choices. Changing light bulbs is a simple way to make a difference. Dakota Electricâ??s program has decreased CO2 emissions by almost 35,000 pounds, toward a goal of more than 110 tons.

I live modestly, but even though I eliminated my commute to Northfield, Minn., my CO2 generation is high because I drive 35,000 miles annually for work. According to http://www.mncee.orgâ??s calculator, I generate 20 tons of CO2 annually. An easy and concrete way to do our part is to calculate and commit to reducing our own CO2 â?? join the Energy Challenge.

Utilities say we need 6,300 megawatts of generation in the region by 2020. Thereâ??s 12,817 MW planned in Minnesota alone, and over 27,000 MW in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Of that, 8,300 MW is coal, 4,000 MW is gas, and 14,000 MW is wind. Weâ??re in the position of being able to make choices that generate less CO2 â?? important where a power plantâ??s life is over 50 years.

The proposed 600MW Mesaba coal gasification plant will emit 616 tons of CO2 per hour or 5,396,160 tons of CO2 annually. The new Big Stone plant is about the same. If I cut my personal CO2 by 25 percent, 5 tons annually, itâ??ll take 1,261,440 years to mitigate one year of typical coal plant CO2 production. The best way to limit CO2 is to assure that these new plants are not built.

How can we do it differently? We can follow the utilitiesâ?? example by combining generation that emits less CO2. Xcel plans to meet its 2015 baseload power need by combining wind and hydro. GRE is siting wind near the Lakefield Junction gas plant and utilizing transmission. Serving customer load demands that electricity be there when we want it, and utilities are demonstrating that these types of combinations work. We can require new generation be combinations of intermittent and renewable sources that donâ??t worsen global warming.

Nowâ??s the time to take responsibility to cut CO2 generation. Letâ??s show our friends, neighbors, employers, elected officials and our own utility that weâ??re committed to decrease CO2 emissions.

Carol A. Overland
Red Wing

Leave a Reply