Readers React: No, the western states grid proposal isn’t a ploy to import more coal power into California
To the editor: Integrating California’s electrical grid into a larger one encompassing the western states is not a ploy to import coal power. The issue is governance and California’s ability to work cooperatively with other states while assuring transactions with our grid comply with our laws and policies.
As Gov. Jerry Brown said in 2016, “Make sure that those who love coal and those who love the sun can sit down and work in a totally seamless web of interconnection, interaction and happiness for all.”
With the expansion of renewable energy, electrical grids now require flexible and responsive resources. With our diversified energy mix, large coal-fired power plants are becoming obsolete.
An expanded western grid gives California the opportunity to balance its growing mix of renewable energy with those in other states, potentially reducing the use of coal power elsewhere in those times California has excess renewable energy.
Bob Hoffman, Redondo Beach
The writer is an energy consultant.
To the editor: Of course we want a regional power grid. This technology could deliver energy at the lowest possible price and ensure stability for millions of people.
The problem is with managing the grid and potentially allowing greed, corruption and megalomania to take hold. With the slightest “encouragement,” the operators of this expanded western states grid could favor one energy supplier over another.
California’s utilities are “public monopolies” that are given a legislated profit. They are allowed to be monopolies in return for benefiting the public. San Diego Gas and Electric wants ratepayers to pay for its negligence in regards to wildfires. Southern California Edison wants to pass along the costs of its mismanagement at the San Onofre nuclear plant. Pacific Gas and Electric wants ratepayers to cover the cost of a settlement for its 2010 pipeline explosion.
This shows that the utilities rarely have the public’s best interest in mind. They have shown that they should not be trusted.
We need more robust oversight than what’s proposed to ensure that the honorable people who would manage this grid would remain so.
Gregg Ferry, Carlsbad
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