Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Coal-export plan met with criticism
Need for innovation
I’d like to suggest a solution inspired by Elon Musk (the Tesla car and Space X guy), who said, “We need to innovate ourselves out of problems rather than try to legislate them.”
Instead of trying to force the sovereign nation of China to not burn coal, why not help them move to a more environmentally friendly alternative? The GE turbine engines in Sumas, Wash., burn natural gas to make electricity.
These high-tech engines are approaching 70 percent efficiency versus only 31 percent for a coal-fired plant. They could be made in the U.S. and then sold to China. The natural gas could be then shipped, rather than flamed off the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota, instead of coal. It would be a win-win.
The environmentalists are correct; we all need to stop burning coal [“Coal hearing packed, mostly by opponents,” page one, Dec. 14]. Until the world has moved totally over to renewable energy sources, natural gas is the better alternative.
Instead of using the weak argument that coal cars are going to pollute our cities, wouldn’t it be more honest to provide China and other countries with a workable solution that hits the true goal of lowering the world’s atmospheric pollution?
—Eugene Clegg, Enumclaw