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Werewolves Of Electricity

There is no one solution to our nation�s energy and environmental problems.

There are lots of solutions.

At a national meeting of electric co-ops this spring, energy experts warned about �the silver bullet syndrome.� In monster movies a single shiny shot can kill a werewolf. But the real world of electric utilities faces three urgent truths:

1. Electricity use is increasing, requiring more production.

2. Creating that production will raise electric rates�the only question is how much.

3. Part of the expense and difficulty of electric production will be minimizing byproducts, including greenhouse gasses that could affect the Earth�s climate.

Solar and wind power won�t meet those requirements. But they can help. So can energy efficiency. Coal-burning power plants can help a lot, along with research to further reduce pollution.

As one speaker said at the conference, energy supply and the environment won�t be saved by a silver bullet, �but by a lot of silver pellets.�

That wordplay was put into plainer English by Glenn English, head of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

He said that to continue providing reliable, affordable electricity and protect the environment, �There are going to be many solutions and they are going to be difficult solutions. And they will take time to implement.�

English urged co-op leaders to talk with lawmakers in Congress, so that electric co-ops have a seat at the negotiating table during energy discussions.

�If you�re not at the table, you�re likely to be on the menu,� he warned.

Co-op leaders from Kentucky and the rest of the nation will carry out that advice this month when some 2,000 of them visit Capitol Hill for an annual legislative conference.

They�ll tell elected officials that meeting the demand for electricity should be done in ways that minimize electric rate increases.

And while they won�t be armed with silver bullets, they�ll carry an arsenal of ideas that Congress should encourage, from more efficient ways to use coal, to electric cars.

Kentucky Living will keep you up-to-date on energy and the environment. Watch especially the monthly columns The Future of Electricity and the Cut Your Utility Bills.

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