Regarding “Beyond biased: Group gets poll results it paid for” (Our Views, Sept. 11): Sierra Club's recent poll concerning renewable energy is deceitful and nonsensical at best. One question asked by the pollster was this: “Currently, there are six coal-fired power plants in Oklahoma. Would you [support, oppose] phasing out these coal-fired power plants and replacing them with clean, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar?” Fact is, renewable energy can't replace even one power plant; backup is required at close to the same capacity as the windmills installed, using coal or natural gas. The backup system must be constantly ramped up and down to make up for variations in the wind or sun.
Sierra Club says, “The closer we look at natural gas, the dirtier it appears; and the less of it we burn, the better off we will be.” So, we shouldn't use natural gas or coal to back up wind? The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas says it considers wind power as a reliable source of supply for only about 8.7 percent of its name plate capacity. A recent Dutch analysis finds that wind energy re-duces emissions and fossil fuel use by a maximum of only 1.6 percent compared with directly generating energy from fossil fuels.
My poll question is this: Given the facts stated above, do you support the Sierra Club in its quest to destroy our electrical energy sector and use electricity only when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining?
Douglas C. Tate, Elk City