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Old Lightiningbolt 
Member since Apr 14, 2017


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Re: “Coal is not coming back, Trump or no Trump

Agree with you pokydog. I worked at Arkansas gas fired power plant in 1970's and compnay had long term economical gas contracts for its power plants with Arkla Gas Co. Electricity was cheap and everyone was happy, except the gas company. They realized that they could make about three times as much money selling their somewhat limited gas supply to the public as to the power company, so they approached the Public Service Commision and requested the long term gas contracts be dissolved and surprisingly the PSC agreed. We went in one morning and Arkla had come out in the middle of the night, closed our main gas valves and padlocked them. Suddenly we were burning #6fuel oil. We'd only burned oil for practice in the past. Later we converted to #2 fuel oil which was cleaner, but also more expensive, especially during the Arab oil embargo. I'm sure many younger readers have never heard of it. For several years afterward we were allowed very little gas, and then at astronomically high prices.
All this said to remind readers that it can happen again - the cheap gas can disappear, especially if we have more earthquakes and they stop fracking, and then what will we do for electricity if the coal and nuclear plants have been shuttered. Windmills, hydroelectric and solar have their place in the mix but cannot provide all our power needs.
Bottom line based on an old guy's 40+ years in the power industry - don't put all your eggs in one basket. Leave your options open so no single source of fuel can cut you off and leave you as a stranded tourist. The AP&L/MSU(future Entergy) long range planners realized this in the 60's and that's why we have the Nucs and Coal Plants now, and they saved us back when the gas was cut off.
I'm afraid the Entergy leaders as well as the government officials either are too young to remember 1973 or are too profit focused to make the correct long term decision.

Posted by Old Lightiningbolt on 04/14/2017 at 12:46 PM

 

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