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In wind vs. coal debate, some perspective is in order

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: September 30, 2012

Particularly affected are members of Oklahoma Industrial Energy Consumers (OIEC), the mega users of power who have a huge stake in electric power developments of every kind. An OIEC attorney believes the PSO approach will “cripple” manufacturing in the state. That may be hyperbole, but no more so than the “100 percent” claim.

Naturally, environmental activists who create no jobs in the state are thrilled by Google's increasing interest in windpower and PSO's declining interest in coal. The rest of us ought to be skeptical.

First, dependency on one type of fuel, whether used for making power or running cars and trucks, isn't smart policy. Diversity — so celebrated by progressives in other areas of life — is frowned upon when it comes to energy. Second, the war on coal is really the war on fossil fuels. Indeed, hydraulic fracturing opponents who've gained little ground with the claim that fracking pollutes water supplies are now on the warpath against fracking's alleged effects on air quality.

Air quality is what is fueling the rage against the coal machine, but this won't stop with coal. Problem is, the wind sometimes does stop blowing. Incredibly, a Sierra Club spokesman hailed PSO's plans as being good for the pocketbooks of consumers. How is paying 10 percent more for power good for consumers?

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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