Why turn to wind?

“AEP (Appalachian Electric Power) TO BUY POWER FROM INDIANA wind farm.”

Knowing that wind power costs about three times as much as electricity that is generated from coal, oil and natural gas, it makes you wonder why rate payers would have to pay this added cost to get wind power from Indiana and other sources. Our Public Service Commission has approved this purchase.

At a recent meeting of AEP shareholders at the Clay Center in Charleston, Nick Adams, CEO of AEP, told his audience that AEP would invest $1.5 billion in renewable energy sources, but that coal would remain an important part of their mix. I believe there is an ample supply of fossil fuels and that there is no real need for AEP to work toward having 25 percent of their energy portfolio in renewable energy; not when you consider the fact that we only consume 30 percent of the coal mined in WV and the overabundance we have of natural gas.

The Trump administration has proposed eliminating the Obama administration’s greenhouse gas limits. Gov. Jim Justice called the news “great news for our state and would help put our coal miners back to work.” Both our attorney general and our senate president lauded this effort by the EPA. On another front Obama officials set a new benchmark of 54 miles per gallon by 2025 for new cars. This proposal has been frozen by the Trump administration. It will remain at the current target of 37 miles per gallon.

It makes no sense to me that while the Trump administration is doing all it can to promote use of fossil fuels in WV, our Public Service Commission is doing all it can to promote use of expensive wind power to generate electricity. With EPA’s effort to eliminate Obama’s extreme Clean Air Act, it should be a real opportunity for the PSC to stop promoting wind power and to promote our abundant and less expensive fossil fuels. It would make electricity less expensive in the future.

Del. Frank Deem



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