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30 Fairmont Park Lane S
Lethbridge, AB T1K 7H7
Phone: (403) 328-1804
Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Editor
The Lethbridge Herald
P.O. Box 670
Lethbridge, AB, T1J 3Z7 

Energy for Life 

Brian Mason is upset that electricity customers are paying 15 cents per kWhr. I’m paying 8 cents kWhr for Enmax electricity from gas and coal on a contract. Danielle Smith was on the record 6 months ago stating that 9 to 11 cents per kWhr would be too much to pay, long term, for electricity from Bruce Power Alberta’s proposed nuclear plant. Their plans have been quietly put on the shelf as competition with currently low priced natural gas is difficult. Others are concerned that massive transmission lines subsidizing wind energy are increasing electricity cost to the point our economy is jeopardized. NDP energy policy indicates Albertans should subsidize solar and wind power to the tune of $20 billion.  A major battle is erupting over distribution and utilization of energy sources from the oil sands. Premier Redford speaks of the need for a “national energy strategy”.  Prime Minister Harper carefully indicates he doesn’t know what that means. 

This un-coordinated commentary on energy and electricity from assorted players emphasizes a need to reflect on Alberta’s and Canada’s approach to ensuring essential energy “going forward”.  

Scientists and philosophers tell us that life is defined by an ability to make use of energy.  All life on earth, from microbes to plants, animals and humans is dependent on it. Most energy used to support life is derived from the sun through processes developed by nature.  

Humans have learned a lot about energy supply and use over the past couple of centuries.     Developing human knowledge of energy and the ability to derive useful energy from sources generally inaccessible to nature now provides the basis for our remarkable success as a major life form. We can apply our knowledge in an integrated way to expand available energy and provide overall enrichment of our environment as time goes on. Perhaps a national strategy which recognizes, enhances, and takes full advantage of human knowledge of energy related processes would be a good start.  

Yours truly, 

Duane Pendergast


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