In a guest column in today's Palladium-Item, Richmond Power and Light missed an opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion about the future of energy and power generation in our region. Instead, General Manager James French took the unfortunate approach of appealing to ratepayer fears about increased energy costs or drastic lifestyle changes, and the politicization of U.S. energy policy.
If President Obama’s plan is enacted, every flick of a light switch, every running of an air conditioner and every spin of your dryer will cost you more and at the expense of manufacturing jobs in the United States. Consumers will be faced with either paying more for their bill or doing without several of their everyday conveniences.
Scientific, economic and environmental data all point clearly to the ways in which coal-based power generation is not sustainable, and perhaps more importantly, the public health and environmental risks that it increasingly poses. As the Obama administration and many other public and private organizations try to work toward policies and practices that are sustainable and practical, it's important to make sure we're talking about the real facts and options in front of us, and to make sure the public is educated about those along the way.