Sunday, June 08, 2008

Powering Arizona


The headline story in today's Phoenix-based Arizona Republic offers a preview of a report due to be released this week at a community forum on the state's options for electric power.

The report, "Powering Arizona: Choices and Trade-Offs for Electricity Policy," was funded by The Thomas R. Brown Foundation in Tucson.

I particularly like the paper's sidebar summarizing the pluses and minuses on each of the fuel types to provide electricity. [above: APS Cholla coal-fired power plant, Joesph City AZ; credit - scenicplaces.com]

It's also interesting to note other stories in the paper on energy. The U.S. and other oil consuming countries want the oil producers to increase production. We also call on rapidly growing third world countries to reduce subsidies for oil products because that increases demand and competition, pushing up prices for U.S. consumers. However, I didn't see a comparable demand being made of the U.S. to cut our use of 25% of the world's oil all by ourselves. Europe and others charge high fuel taxes to fund mass transit, reduce demand for oil, and make alternative fuels competitive. Should they blame the U.S. for keeping gasoline prices historically low, thus pushing up demand and causing the worldwide supply crunch and skyrocketing prices?

There are no easy answers to energy problems. Based on what I read this morning, the Powering Arizona report should be mandatory for everyone.

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