Just a few days before The Columbian’s Nov. 13 editorial, the United Nations Climate Change organization issued a report stating greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by 45 percent by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 Celsius. The report noted that failing to do so will result in even more serious climate problems including more frequent and severe droughts, heat waves and rainfall.
Nevertheless, The Columbian accepted Clark Public Utilities’ argument they must balance the desire to reduce emissions with keeping rates low. The utility has ignored customers’ pleas to seek alternate energy sources instead of relying on fossil gas power. As in Nero’s Rome, meanwhile, the earth burns. Nonemitting solar and wind power is available now, at cheaper cost than gas or hydro.
The utility should be working to set up alternate power purchasing agreements now, not waiting until 2045. Mothballing the River Road Generating Plant – one of the 10 largest emitters in Washington – sooner than 2045 is not just tempting, it is urgent for the sake of the planet.