Monday, January 16, 2006

California Leads the Way with Solar Power

According to an editorial in The Christian Science Monitor, half of all electricity is still generated by coal, our cheapest, dirtiest source of fuel. Although the media brought us the news of the 12 miners who died in a coal mine recently, they don't tell us about those who die prematurely every year from power-plant pollution. Coal plants are responsible for much of the planet-warming carbon dioxide produced in this country.

Coal may be cheap and abundant, but mining it is dirty and dangerous and is another example of the truth of the cliche, "penny wise, pound foolish."

Like WalMart, this is an example of the high cost of low price.

Meanwhile, my state is working to change the future for the better:

California energy regulators placed a $2.9 billion bet on solar power Thursday, backing a landmark plan that environmentalists hope will become a model for the nation.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved pouring money -- drawn from a new charge on utility bills -- into rebates for residents and businesses that install solar panels during the next 11 years. No state in the country currently spends more.

"Our hope is that solar will become a major part of California's energy portfolio," said commission President Michael Peevey. "This solar program simply offers one more alternative to Californians concerned about a clean energy future."