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A response to 'Honor and betrayal'

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Portraying the reluctance of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors to leap aboard the Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) bandwagon as a betrayal of the future of humankind is a bit of a stretch ("Honor and betrayal," Nov. 28). Perhaps the board is simply suffering a rare attack of sensibility. MBCP claims to provide its customers with 100 percent carbon-free power. Yet, historically non-carbon emitting renewables have contributed less than 30 percent of power produced per year in California. Last year, this was augmented by an additional 20 percent of non-carbon emitting power from large hydro and nuclear, together producing about the same as wind and solar combined. However, large hydro production is seasonally variable, and nuclear power is on borrowed time for reasons yet to be understood by any rational human being.

So, the fact is that a little more than half of the power produced in California has been from carbon-emitting or unknown imported sources. That being the case, then how could MBCP possibly provide 100 percent carbon-free power to customers, when it does not exist in California, certainly not 24 hours a day? The answer is that it can't, and the claim is therefore untrue. You can pretend to use 100 percent carbon-free power but that is about it, and it is certain that the climate will be unmoved.

The author was also very rough on the Republicans, which I too feel that they richly deserve. Yet when it comes to honor and betrayal, what about the Democrats? In 2018, out of the 82 Democrats in the Legislature, 74 of them took contributions from oil and gas interests; 76 took contributions from renewable interests; all of them took money from utility interests; and 71 of them—or 87 percent—took money from all of them. The only thing these interests have in common is that they all want nuclear power shut down in California, regardless of what it will do to our community and the environment. Yet, these very legislators are mandated to set a new carbon-free climate agenda. Fat chance of that happening. So who is betraying whom?

Mark Henry

San Luis Obispo

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