Readers Write: May 16

Coal, natural gas more economical

With little fanfare on May 1, the Atlanta City Council passed a Resolution for 100 percent City of Atlanta operations from renewable energy by 2025 and 100 percent renewable electricity for the city by 2035. Since wind energy is currently impractical for Atlanta, solar energy is the electricity source.

By coincidence the Department of Energy released employment and electricity generation data for all energy sources for 2016. The solar industry employed 373,807, natural gas industry 362,118, and coal industry 160,119. The solar industry produced 98,000 kilowatt-hours per employee, natural gas 3,812,000, and coal 7,745,000. The wholesale value of electricity per worker is $3,900 for solar, $152,000 natural gas, and $310,000 coal.

Clearly solar energy is not economical compared to coal or natural gas electricity generation. Without subsidies from local (like City of Atlanta mandates), state, and federal agencies, there would be no solar electricity generation.

JAMES H. RUST, OF THE HEARTLAND INSTITUTE

Environmental protection is gov’t’s job

To intentionally cripple an agency charged with protecting human health and the environment is unconscionable. Environmental protection, and thus protection of all Americans, is a responsibility of our government and should not become a political football. We can limit the horrible results of global warming, and we can stop it in its tracks. The economy will not suffer, but rather be stimulated. There are alternative clean energy technologies already in use in many places that we can transition to. Fossil fuels, especially coal, are declining in demand. America has long been a world leader in science and technology. Let’s not lose that position. America can have a leadership role, but not if we’re trying to move backward to protect the fortunes of a few who stand to profit from fossil fuels. Americans deserve an economy that works for everyone and an environment which is safe for everyone.

KATHERINE MITCHELL, ATLANTA

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