Here’s a comment from Andy, who’s wondering why Fairbanks is so intent on LNG when there’s a gargantuan coal deposit right down the road. I know next to nothing about this, and don’t have time today to dig into it. Anybody have thoughts?
Energy is energy, it comes in all sorts of forms. The easiest and cheapest is low cost electricity, which can run everything, including vehicles…The most economical electrical power is obtained from nuclear, which we all know is a no starter. The next in line is coal. We have clean coal technology that produces EPA-approved emissions. Given the fact that Alaska is blessed with a gargantuan amount of low sulfur, high BTU coal, it is a shame that the interior cannot benefit from this. The Healy plant, capable of 175 megawatts ( I think), would produce electricity to power 175,000 homes. That’s a big chunk of Fairbanks.
Take the big bucks going to LNG, and you could get Healy up and running, and build another plant as well. Tie these two plants to a common statewide grid and voila, problem solved. Alaskan coal would be a stable, predictable fuel cost, and provide cheap electricity for generations. Why we continue to pump money into oddball energy schemes is bizarre.
Walker et al need to get serious about an energy plan and stop pussyfooting around with these fantasies. Clean coal technology for those on the grid, and LNG for the bush via barges, makes sense. The plethora of electrical fiefdoms needs to be addressed as well. An energy policy may help that problem as well, and don’t forget to drop the crazy renewable mandate.