I must rise to the defense of “The Editorial Board of the Wenatchee World,” a term used repeatedly in Werner Janssen’s letter to The Safety Valve Jan. 6 as a (pathetic) debating team device intended to lend emphasis to his argument.
As I, and others, have noted often, Tracy Warner’s editorials are unfailingly fact based, closely reasoned and strive to give a balanced view of controversies. We don’t always agree, but the argumentation is fair and reasonable.
This stands in sharp contrast to Mr. Janssen’s letter taking strong exception to Tracy’s exposure of the high cost of wind energy installations, the low and undependable level of energy produced and the harm done to PUD customers forced to bear the added cost of an essentially non-beneficial energy source.
Not only was Mr. Janssen’s rant tiresome (which it was) and long winded (which it was) it was illogical. He used the ever questionable device of moral equivalence in equating wind and solar subsidies to the taxpayer supported costs of the national dam building policy. There is no equivalence between the dam building cost and the wind subsidy cost.
The dams have paid for themselves many times over in providing the low cost, reliable and renewable energy that has brought industries, commerce and jobs to areas such as North Central Washington which otherwise would have to depend almost wholly on farming, ranching and recreation. The taxpayer and legislature supported wind energy sources come at a high cost, are undependable, require extensive acreage and are environmentally harmful.
He repeats the false equivalency fallacy in using the cost overrun of the PUD’s fiber optic system as a reason to support the wind subsidies. The main flaw in this approach is that the fiber optic project was a one-time effort, whereas the wind subsidies must go on and on.
The driving force of his defense of wind as a renewable energy source is the anti-fossil fuel crusade. North Central Washington electricity needs are almost entirely met without fossil fuels, so the passionate defense of the high cost of wind is misplaced.
Incidentally, a striking omission from the anti-fossil arguments is nuclear energy. The crusade’s motivation is suspect.
John O’Hara, Jr.
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