Archive for Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Energy for all

April 25, 2006


To the editor:

Recently the Journal-World announced an agreement with the owners of the Bowersock Dam. Through a third party called Zephyr Power, "Green Energy" will be supplied to "help the environment." Other local businesses are interested, and Boog Highberger says the city "should take the lead" and buy power at extra cost.

There's nothing new in the Bowersock Dam selling power to the grid and making a good business for decades. What's new is the marketing scam.

The source of the power is a public resource: the Kansas River. The public should expect to be compensated for its use. If Bowersock Dam owners complain about maintenance costs, let's open up the lucrative franchise negotiated for peanuts in the ancient past. Let someone else exploit the massive free energy of nature in the river.

It is astounding that the city would consider paying a premium for ordinary electric power, in effect subsidizing a gold mine.

City commissioners, please think again: Public policy is for public benefit, not subsidizing the rich.

John Ralston,



xenophonschild 11 years, 9 months ago


I babysitted for the Hill family once when Sarah and Emily were tykes; they were wonderful little girls, and their parents were some of the finest people to ever breathe air in Lawrence.

If they want to make a few bucks out of the family's power mill, I'm all for them.

Alison Smith 11 years, 9 months ago

Bowersock is one of the things that has literally put Lawrence on the map - both as a place of economic stability when it wasn't available anywhere else and for its reputation as being an innovative place to be. From an environmental perspective they are minimally invasive in the short and long term.

They have been generous with their community and have a longstanding committment to Lawrence. If they didn't, the facility would have been abandoned and/or sold to outside interests long ago.

I applaud their determination to keep this facility open despite the inherent stress of being on the front line of the whims of nature.

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