Letters and comments for February 21, 2012

By Observer Upload February 21, 2012 12:52 pm
Letters and comments for February 21, 2012

Conserve energy 


To the Editor:

Last year, Pendleton was passed over for a new Internet data center because of the lack of electrical transmission infrastructure.

Two key points. First, a healthy economy is dependent on availability of electricity. Second, demand for power is increasing. Data centers are energy hogs, but other modern conveniences also increase demand. 

Increased demand is driving increased cost. Cheap hydropower is fully subscribed and new demand has to be met through other sources, including coal, nuclear and wind.

These new sources are not cheap and come with new environmental costs. What are we going to do about it?

A new study, “Toward a Sustainable Future” by Synapse Energy Economics, shows us a way to meet these new demands while keeping costs down and reducing health and environmental costs.

Conservation, efficiency and renewable energy can save America a net $83 billion over the next 40 years, not counting savings in health and environmental benefits.

Best of all, they estimate this approach will create 300,000 new jobs. 

What can we do today? A few simple things for starters.

Review your utility bills and find out how to cut your use. Read the inserts from your utility providers for how to save. There is money available from them for many cost-saving measures. Visit www.energystar.gov for more information.

Once you’ve done that, check out renewables. Upward of 30 percent of domestic energy use goes to heating water.

Oregon Rural Action is spearheading an effort to deliver and install inexpensive solar hot water throughout Union County.

The cost of the system may be offset by savings on your utility bill, especially if you heat with propane. Call 541-975-2411 to find out more.

While you’re there, ask for “Toward a Sustainable Future.”

Dave Felley

La Grande


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