Letters to the Editor

Powering to solutions

It appears the Keystone pipeline is of great environmental concern. I assume engineers would provide automatic shut-off valves and manual valves in the event of a break in the pipe. The use of tanker trains seems to be in trouble, maybe because of the lack of proper rail maintenance.

Some people suggest the use of electric vehicles and establishing “recharging stations,” thereby reducing the need for oil. Electricity is a clean energy. There are a few questions on this type of energy. First, how will it be produced; second, how will it be transported in large volumes and third, what will be the availability to distant sites?

Hydroelectric power is clean but is limited by lack of water at many locations. Nuclear power is available, but many people complain about safety issues. There are oil and coal-fired power plants, but again, environmental problems with safely transporting oil and coal, and of course the emissions.

Now, if someone would find a way to construct enough paddle wheels in the rivers – Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and others – to spin generators to produce electricity, I think we would be making progress. Now, this brings up another environmental problem: the skyline infested with ugly power poles. I think they will have to be of steel as we don’t have enough trees to maintain a power pole forest. Of course, the power lines could be underground.

I will let AAA worry about getting power to someone with a dead battery in the middle of nowhere.

Lew Hiatt