Charles Campbell, a retired executive with Gulf Oil, once again gets the facts wrong in his latest attempt to attack wind energy ("Nuclear power is good for the environment," May 28).
First, Mr. Campbell falsely claims that
To support his claim Mr. Campbell cites a debunked fossil fuel industry attack on wind and actually misreports the findings of that report. Even this report, paid for by a fossil fuel lobbying group and conducted by a fossil fuel company, found that wind energy drastically reduces pollution. All utility and grid operator data and peer-reviewed studies on the subject confirm that finding, concluding that wind energy has no negative impact on the efficiency of fossil-fired power plants. In fact, wind energy's pollution reductions are often larger than expected because wind energy displaces the most expensive, and therefore least efficient, fossil-fired power plants first. The reality is that wind energy is easier and cheaper for grid operators to accommodate than large fossil and nuclear power plants, as wind energy output changes gradually and predictably while conventional power plants break down frequently and abruptly.
Finally, Mr. Campbell incorrectly blames European countries' high electricity prices on wind, when in reality their electricity prices were already high before wind energy was added, due to aggressive taxes on energy use. Data from the United States confirms that wind energy lowers electricity prices for consumers by displacing the use of expensive fossil fuels. Last month, Synapse Energy Economics released a report that found consumers in the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states, including Maryland, would see $6.9 billion in net savings on their electric bills every year if the region doubled its use of wind energy beyond existing standards. Similar studies have found the same result in other regions.
As much as he would like to, Mr. Campbell cannot hide from the fact that wind energy is a win-win for consumers and the environment.
Michael Goggin, Washington, D.C.