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GENI-us Letter 2017-09

What I Learned On My Vacation: What Is And What Could Be

Dear GENI Friend,

My wife and I delighted in a tour of the US national parks that surround Wyoming last month: Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Devils Tower and Mount Rushmore. We live in a spectacular country. Along the way she asked, “So what did you learn?” Of course I view things through an energy lens.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/sites/default/files/coal%20train.jpghttp://www.elp.com/content/dam/elp/online-articles/2014/06/wyoming%20power%20plant.pngAs I thought about the expansive and beautiful landscapes, several other profound images appeared: mile long coal trains that supply huge coal-fired power plants, the vast windy plains and the bark beetle that has devastated pine trees in the Rocky Mountain National Forest.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_MEDIA/stelprdb5434900.jpgWyoming is an energy producing state and coal is the life-blood of that economy. Mining, railway and power plants employ entire towns. Yet it’s our most polluting fuel. One consequence of global warming has altered the bark beetle’s normal winter death cycle.

The beetle is now winning and over 90% of some forests have died.

http://www.geni15.wrsc.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/wyoming-wind-resource-map-50m-800.jpg?itok=RkpogiW3The solution was in our face every day — as Wyoming has consistent strong winds that remain untapped. With high-voltage transmission access, these winds could power lights across the western US. It's cleaner and wind energy creates good jobs.

Our vacation revealed what is, and what could be. It’s the transition that’s hard. Business as usual is killing our forests. The renewable solution is blowing hard across the plains states every day.

In Partnership for the Planet,

Peter MeisenGENI's 25th Anniversary Seal -- 1987-2012
Peter Meisen, President

p.s. What can you do in your state or province to buy clean and efficient renewable energy resources?