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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

April 16, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Washington coal plant

Cheap power costs the environment

Coal, no matter how you slice it or dice it, is environmentally a four-letter word.

It can provide cheap power if you don’t count the cost to the environment. When you do, it becomes probably the most expensive method of generating electricity. In order to avoid the worst effects of climate change, Washington state needs to move beyond coal power and it needs to do it now [“State’s secret deal sparks outcry,” NW Tuesday, April 7].

We need to make a huge reduction in the state’s global-warming pollution within the next 10 years. Luckily, we can make a significant reduction in our state’s greenhouse-gas emissions in one fell swoop.

The largest single source of greenhouse-gas emissions in the state is the TransAlta coal power plant in Centralia, which provides 17 percent of the state’s energy. The plant’s owners have been pushing the state for a free pass to keep polluting indefinitely without addressing their global-warming pollution.

Gov. Chris Gregoire should stand up to the TransAlta corporation and tell them that their global-warming pollution is no longer welcome in Washington. The governor has been a leader in creating cleaner, healthier energy sources; now it’s time for her to take her leadership to the next level by moving Washington beyond coal power within the next 10 years.

— Wes Gallaugher, Edmonds

Comments | More in Carbon emissions, Environment

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