Letters to the Editor

Letter: Trojan horse

Rick Whitbeck’s recent analysis of the “infiltration” of our electric utilities by “extremists” relied a bit too much on mythology and is way too much to parse in a letter. He seems to not see that, over the past decade or so, huge technological progress has, in many cases, made it cheaper to generate electricity from solar, geothermal, and wind power than by burning fossil fuels. This innovation continues at a pace that many equate to the old “Moore’s Law” for computing power.

Many other states have participated in an alternativeenergy boom. Texas (yes, Texas) is the largestproducer of wind energy in the country. Many of the wind projects there were promoted and built by companies with oil and gas in their genealogy. BP, after all, went from “British” to “Beyond.”

So even some oil and gas companies have billions at stake in a contribution to renewable expansion. Why? At this point, traditional oil and gas interests know that investing in renewable energy is simply a good business proposition.

And, contrary to Whitbeck’s commentary, local utilities have been warned by the producers that “the abundant supply of natural gas in Cook Inlet” is not so abundant and will definitely cost a lot more in the future. We will always have long daylight hours in the summer at this latitude.

Looking at alternatives will not “cripple Alaska’s resource development and lock up the state,” but it may help stabilize rates and open up new job and investment opportunities.

Fighting against new options may hurt business and costs the state both money and jobs.

I want our utility to accept reality and continue to provide reliable and cost-effective electricity.


And to look ahead — there are a surprising number of electric vehicles on Alaska roads right now, and I know there are some smart people at Chugach trying to figure out how to provide reliable charging power along the entire road system.

I hope our board will avoid making decisions based upon “culture war” rhetoric (“eco-left,” “ideologues,” “eco-extremists,” “woke”) but rather base decisions for the future on a clear, sunny, windswept — and business-like — viewpoint.

— Jim Thiele


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