I was heartened to read Brian Maffly’s Oct. 4 Tribune article reporting that PacifiCorp will retire its 16 most costly coal-fired power plants by 2030, resulting in reduced carbon emissions by 43% by 2025 and 59% by 2030. I was disappointed, however, about their expectation of getting 20 more years of production from Emery County’s Hunter and Huntington plants.
Impressively, 3,500 megawatts of new wind generation are expected from Wyoming and Idaho sites, boosted by 3,000 megawatts of solar generation from Utah. Additionally, 600 megawatts of short-term battery storage will enable power generated midday to be used as energy demand peaks later in the day.
Google announced in October that it will make the "biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history," reported Tim Bradshaw in the Financial Times. Google has struck 18 deals in the U.S., Europe and South America to move to carbon-free operations.
These corporate actions, however, won't suffice. Congress needs the political will to place a fee on fossil fuels that reflects its true cost as a source of CO2 emissions, then returns 100% of net revenues as a pro-rata dividend to the American people. The bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR. 763) incorporates these concepts.
Jim Wightman, Bountiful