Cumberland Times-News

February 11, 2008

He’ll be conserving, if he doesn’t freeze first

To the Editor:

In a recent letter to the editor, a comment was “are we swatting a gnat and swallowing a camel?” I think we may be doing that again ... this windpower thing, and the high dollar newspaper advertisements now appearing in our local paper are just mind boggling. We didn’t even know who was paying for these ads until Tuesday’s paper.

We hope that these folks are paying the going rate for these ads, help make the newspaper some money. They have a Web site, I visited it, just the usual crowd, politicians, lawyers and no doubt some lobbyists and corporate types. The ones in Washington who have no interest in doing the people’s business, and are more interested in making money, or getting re-elected, or advancing a corporate cause. This one cloaked under the cover of “Renewable Energy.”

Anyway, to my point ... .while we argue about the birds getting hurt, cutting timber to place these giants, and the noise, the eyesore, and so on, we are swatting at the gnat!

The camel is who pays for these windmills, who is making big bucks for promoting, building and installing them? How much taxpayer money goes, hidden or upfront, to buy these great white whales? Who knows? The actual facts are somewhere, it would be nice if the newspaper could find and report the stone cold facts to its readers.

We also read how much power these big gadgets will make, but the truth gets hidden because they are always rated with a 24/7 wind, and it’s been said they are lucky if they produce below a half to one third of that output a month. And one must remember that the electricity produced will cost as much as three times or more as the going rate ... or what used to be the going rate, before de-regulation.

Now, let’s forget the camel, and let the elephant out of the room! We need plentiful, low cost nuclear generated electricity. That is where Maryland laborers should be working ... building power plants down where the high consumption takes place.

A nice big one, right in Annapolis, plenty of cooling water for a nuclear power plant there, by golly. (Thank goodness it doesn’t take cool air!) Ours is a country that has been damned by that accident at Three Mile Island.

Just the very mention of nuclear power causes gnashing of teeth and wailing in some quarters. There are safe nuclear power plants now. France gets 80 percent of its power that way. We were, I understand, getting only 20 percent of ours made in that manner, but evidently some generation has been taken offline, we are getting just a little over 17 percent now, I’ve heard.

Nuclear power generation plants placed at or near the high power user areas has another plus, too, no need to slash the country side up installing long, expensive powerline runs, such as being debated near here now, and in other places around the nation.

Now about those light bulbs. I loved the quote from the lady at the power company, “We’re going to teach you how to conserve” Hee!

Lady, I’m retired, on Social Security, over 70 years old and sitting in my house wearing a sweater. We put the efficient bulbs in a good while back. And believe me, sweet heart, by the time I get done paying your soon to be 71% increase in power rates, maybe even more, I’ll know the full meaning of conserving, if I don’t freeze first!

William Mullan