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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 13, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Centralia coal plant

Pollution knows no boundaries

I think it is a mistake to condemn the state government for cutting a deal that keeps the last coal-fired power plant in Washington in operation [“State’s secret deal sparks outcry,” NW Tuesday, April 7].

Pollution knows no state boundaries. As much as half or more of the electricity provided to Puget Sound Energy customers comes from coal-fired plants located outside of the state.

Your use of electricity from them causes pollution in the Midwestern and eastern United States. Power losses in long-distance transmission lines are a bad reason for buying power from those distant plants in places like Montana and Arizona.

It would be more responsible to kept pollution local, where it affects those who also benefit from the polluting plant. Then people might realize that the real goal has to be the closure of all coal-fired power plants, regardless of where they are. The only way to effectively do that is to stop the present 75 percent wastage of the electricity that comes to our homes. Improve efficiency and conserve while we make the switch to renewable energy.

— Stephen A. Douglass, Bainbridge Island

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