Comment from Grove, Darlene L. And John D.
To: Northwest Power and Conservation Council From: Darlene L. and John D. Grove PO Box 77 Stevensville, MT 59870 406-777-2423 We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the future of energy conservation and production in the Pacific Northwest. Though we live in Montana, we have seen the results of a tremendous growth in energy production over the past 50 years. Some of the growth has been good and other has had a very negative impact on the environment and the wonderful natural ecosystems of the area. And we believe much of that growth is not sustainable, no matter how much energy we produce. Did we not overbuild on dams on the Columbia? Looking at the negative impacts on the fisheries and the fishing economy, could we have taken a more moderate approach. We encouraged the development of farms and ranches on marginal land, was that sustainable? We encouraged the development of whole communities and industries where they demand a great deal of energy. Is that efficient? Another question to consider is the amount of water we will have in the future. We have vast and once very productive watersheds in the northwest. Over decades the health and integrity of those watersheds has been greatly diminished (please reference the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Studies and Impact Statement). With that degradation and the threat of climate change, gradual warming and drought, will our water resources be sustainable? So we are heartened by the slow and studious approach the council is taking to new energy development, the benefits and the negatives that might bring. And we offer our opinions for your consideration: l. We believe energy conservation and efficiency must be the first effort. Not since the 1970's have we seen any major attempt to convince the American people to conserve. Perhaps we need energy shortages to help people realize how much we waste in our domestic, commercial and industrial activities. And with many of our industrial operations going overseas, do we need a big increase? The Council should be the forerunner in a massive campaign to encourage energy conservation. 2. The final plan should surely include renewable energy. But again we caution moderation. As wind energy picks up and we see more towers on the skyline, do we need so many. Wind energy also demands transmission lines. Power lines are another unsightly and environmentally impactive development. Can we find ways to use existing lines? 3. We would like to see short term goals to reduce CO2 emissions in the region. Instead of setting a goal out twenty to thirty years, could we not have short term intermittent goals? We would also support a tax on emissions. Therefore we should begin to establish some cost to CO2 units or emissions. 4. All coal fired power plants should be phased out.