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Editor:

November 2012 proved to be the driest November in Texas history. On the heels of the 2011 drought, local farmers and ranchers are nervous that the lack of rainfall indicates more trouble ahead. We have enjoyed some rain so far this year, but are still under drought classification and we all should be thinking of ways to conserve water to ensure that this precious resource is available in the coming years.

The Fayette Power Plant is currently using millions of gallons of water every day. This water could be better used. In addition to wasting this precious resource, the plant is importing coal from Wyoming at a tremendous cost to local electric utility customers. This is bad for the local citizenry and bad for the long term strength of the Texas economy.

Texas is blessed with abundant sunshine and wind. These are endlessly renewable resources that are available free right here in our very own state. Why should Texans support companies in other states while at the same time poisoning the air in Texas? There is a better, sustainable way for the LCRA to power the electrical grid that we all depend on.

I urge every local co-op customer to encourage the LCRA to agree to retire the coal-fired plant in Fayetteville. The LCRA is facing spending millions of dollars, costs that will be transferred to customers through increased utility rates, to upgrade the aging plant unless they choose to retire it and move to more sustainable alternatives. Retiring the plant would result in very real benefits to the health of local citizens and significant economic benefits to stakeholders.

Let’s work together to keep the air clean and Texas money right here at home.

Sincerely,

Lisa Frackowiak

Smithville

Member, Bluebonnet Electric Co-op

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Comments

  1. Pat says:

    I have some questions for this letter writer.

    You stated that November 2012 was the driest in Texas history. Would you please state the years? Texas history stretches quite a ways back. What years are you talking about?

    Since when is solar and wind power economical? Those 2 sources of energy are not a good alternative to coal unless you are willing to spend a lot more on your electric bill.

  2. Lisa Frackowiak says:

    Pat, my apologies for not being more clear. The drought of 2011 marked the driest year in recorded weather history in Texas, going back to 1898. November 2012 was the driest month of November in Texas since 1898. Here is a link to just one of the many nationally published news stories about the 2011 Texas drought http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57354420/2011-was-texas-driest-year-on-record/

    Solar and wind power are economical when implemented on a large scale, as would be the case with a public utility. Both Austin Energy and the City of San Antonio are already using solar to produce part of their energy needs.

    Coal is expensive, both in terms of dollars spent and the long-term cost to the environment and our collective health.

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