DougCounty (Ken Lassman)


Comment history

Letter: A better future

Well, everyone knows that when Pedro Alvarez Cabraldis discovered what is now Brazil on this day in 1500, nothing has ever been the same ever since. I mean, Jane Fonda released her exercise video, Nixon died on this day, the Irish revolted against the British in the Easter Rebellion, and the Oklahoma Land rush began. Talk about a butterfly wing starting a hurricane.....

April 21, 2015 at 2:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

Actually, no, Marc--it's already cheaper to install a kilowatt of wind generated power than it is to install a kilowatt generated by a new coal powered or nuclear power plant.

The refunded fee can be used any way the taxpayer wants: use it to pay for the higher costs of energy, improve your home/car/work's energy efficiency, or go alternative energy.

Ivanpah is a centralized solar energy powered plant with all of the problems of centralized power plants and does not represent where the majority of solar energy is coming from: photovoltaic arrays on rooftops. It is definitely not where most people are going with the renewables part of our electrical grid. For a better idea of a very viable alternative, check out:

April 21, 2015 at 9:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

It is already cheaper in Kansas to generate a kilowatt of wind generated electricity to the grid than it is to generate that kilowatt from a new coal fired plant, and the price of generating that kilowatt from solar continues to drop dramatically as well. Most of the new sources for electricity in this country came from either wind or solar in the past several years. Furthermore, the cheapest way to generate electricity is to invest in efficiency measures to cut waste. At 2 cents/kwh, nothing comes close to investing in energy efficiency.

One scenario I'm familiar with outlines the power of efficiency in getting us through the transition to low carbon energy sources. If 3%/year were devoted to energy efficiency, 1% of that investment would take care of the need for new growth in electrical demand and the other 2% could be used to build new capacity in wind, solar and other low/no carbon sources, so that when coal plants are retired, they do not have to be replaced with new coal fired plants. In 20 years, renewables could capture 40% of the electrical generation market this way, and industry will only benefit from this because their energy efficiency measures will no doubt have other benefits in terms of productivity.

If you look at the REMI study in detail, it looks to me that the average household will reap more in the rebate than they will pay in terms of higher fuel costs, especially if they invest that rebate in their own energy efficient/renewable energy investments. If you continue to just use it on other purchases and don't cut back on your own consumption patterns, it will likely cost you more money. But I see no real change in the quality of life of the average Joe; in fact many will see improvements.

Biofuels would have an advantage over being taxed as a fuel over the current system, which essentially double taxes them--see details here:

April 21, 2015 at 8:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: A better future

Actually, Fred, manufacturing's main fuel is electricity, which has alternative, low carbon sources for its generation. It uses electricity just the same whether that electricity comes from coal, natural gas, wind or solar. The other piece of the equation is that most industrial processes are inefficient and the cheapest way to get more energy is to waste less by tightening up efficiencies. Groups like the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy is devoting considerable research on just how to do that--check them out here:

Airlines, railroads and other transporting modes are also going through major energy efficiency kicks and looking into alternative power sources such as biofuesl, greater use of electrical motors, etc. to reduce their carbon emissions.

To see the REMI report that Dale refers to, go here:

April 21, 2015 at 6:32 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: Losing ground

"An agreement to freeze tuition in exchange for flat state funding only means state universities in Kansas will continue to lose ground"

What? We're paying money to be a flat state??? What a crazy way to lose ground! Where will all of that dirt go that makes up Mt. Oread go? It's time to kick those Flat Earth Society guys and gals out of the legislature.

April 21, 2015 at 6:02 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Ill-informed point

The EPA has not taken action to curtail coal fired electricity generation; it has taken action to curtail pollution from coal combustion, including demanding that mercury and carbon emissions need to be reduced below a certain level due to solid science that shows the deleterious consequences if we don't. The fact that coal is cutting back as an electrical generation heat source is because it is no longer economically profitable to do so if the old plants have to be retrofitted with BACT level pollution standards and the fact that nobody has shown how to pull carbon from the combustion emissions and economically sequester it.

Furthermore, those with moneys to invest are quick to read the issue of stranded assets and realize they'd better move their money elsewhere quick before the coal in the ground becomes demonetized since there is no way to economically burn it under the new pollution and emission standards. Pick whatever financial institution you care to choose and you'll find articles about stranded assets, the collapse of the coal stocks and the poor prognosis for things to turn around in the forseeable future. Don't take my word for it, Marc; the axes are pretty much unanimous on this one.

April 20, 2015 at 6:58 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Ill-informed point

Really? The EPA regulations are the cause and yet those regulations have nothing to do with pollution??? If mercury pollution was not an issue, then why would the heightened mercury standards be issued by the EPA? Same with carbon emission limitations.

And exactly what website do you know of that is NOT an "aggregator web site/" Weren't they called "newspapers," "journals," "textbooks," "encyclopedias," etc before the internet? And if you think that the website link I provided is biased, how about and Goldman Sachs? Here's their take on the subject:

April 20, 2015 at 6:28 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Ill-informed point

I have to agree with Kevin on this point, folks. The purpose of these forums are to ideally create a clearing for public consideration of ideas, not to attack the individuals saying them. We can all come to conclusions about a person's ideas and their ability to articulate them without attacking them publicly as an individual. That kind of behavior serves no one. I say keep the discussion on the merits of an idea/point, not on the person making them.

April 19, 2015 at 11:58 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Ill-informed point

Yes, it was a point in his letter, or a micro-point using my description. Yes, it was far from the main point of Mr. Melott's letter, which was addressing the real reasons why many institutions are diverting their investments away from coal, which you did not address at all.

April 19, 2015 at 11:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter: Ill-informed point

I daresay all too often your "pattern" is to wander off on pseudo-logical mini-points while ignoring the main message of the article/letter. Mr. Melott's letter was a cogent, articulate sendup of Mr. Will's reasoning and your comments are merely diversionary, a perhaps conscious attempt to create a sideshow that detracts from the real thesis of the letter: exploring the real reasons for divestment from coal instead of those ideological reasons stated by Mr. Will.

April 19, 2015 at 8:01 a.m. ( | suggest removal )