Re "Wyoming wind may power California," Feb. 9
Wyoming's antipathy toward environmentalism typifies sparsely settled states that cling to frontier-life notions of hardy self-reliance and boundless natural resources. Such conservative conceits thrive far from densely populated states, where vivid reminders of societal interdependence and environmental frailty abound.
As much as California's quest for green energy may be derided in Wyoming, the proposed wind farm that would deliver power to California provides a prudent hedge. Once the Powder River Basin coal mines are depleted or pollution from coal-fired plants proves problematic, Wyoming will have an out: The state can then tap into the wind-power infrastructure erected to service California.
Sooner or later, Wyoming will realize that we're all in this together.
Cameron Park, Calif.
Buried in the article is this: "What is not under dispute is that coal power is cheaper than wind power, as long as the cost of pollution is not considered." We should not just tangentially refer to the costs of pollution.
Political leaders have been bought off by lobbyists to guarantee that such costs are not internalized in the price of their dirty energy. Journalists should move environmental and health damages front and center so that readers can understand the true costs of fossil-fuel energy.
Even when the external costs are ignored, coal energy is cheaper than wind only for coal plants built long ago when environmental regulations were lax. Newer coal plants must adhere to stricter rules. Consequently, their rates per kilowatt hour are higher than those of wind energy.
Paul Scott, Santa Monica
Ben Zuckerman, Los Angeles