Grande: The Emperor has no clothes – InForum

When the temperature rose to two degrees last Sunday, it ended a streak of 144 consecutive hours below zero in my house. That’s a long stretch, even for North Dakota. Do you know what made us feel so warm all the time? What helped us survive? coal. oil. Gas. But mainly coal. This is the reality whether you choose to believe it or not.

These days, reality often seems to be in the eye of the beholder, as two people can look at the exact same facts and come to very different conclusions. We live in a time when half of us see the sky as red, black, or gray instead of blue. But this does not mean that there are multiple facts, there is only one.

Carbon-based energy is a boon. Staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer requires reliable and abundant energy. Survival and prosperity in most parts of the world depends on coal, oil and natural gas. However, all we see and hear is wind and solar energy.

Is there anyone looking for our safety and well-being? Unfortunately no. For you consumers and taxpayers out there, it’s a tough love time. Nobody represents you. Our electrical grid is more fragile than you realize, however, turning our power sector into “unreliable” is an afterthought in a hurry. It’s a big game of “passing on responsibility”. The regulators pass the responsibility on to the regional transport organizations (MISO and SPP) who then pass the responsibility on to the facilities. But do you know who will pay the price in the end? You, as a consumer and taxpayer, are paying for ever-increasing energy prices and diminishing reliability.

All “buck passers-by” are smart. They all know we can’t support our society with renewable energy, yet everyone plays a role. When I ask the simple questions, when I ask about reliability and cost, I am told that the renewable energy train has left the station and there is no stopping. No one in power is convinced that the emperor has no clothes.

It is really very simple. Network stability and the health of consumers and their pocketbook should be a priority for regulators and policy makers. The full impact and cost of adding more renewables to the mix must be understood and communicated to the public.

Public utilities must also be responsible for the health and welfare of consumers. We were promised that renewable energy was less expensive, and we were told that the drive to add more wind and solar power comes from consumer demand. I’m not so sure. It’s time for those of us who care about the cost and reliability of energy to express our opinions and desires as well.

In early January we have more spells below zero before spring comes. I pray the net holds up and I know there’s a coal stockpile ready to go. keep warm!

Grande represented District 41 in the New D. Legislature from 1996 to 2014. She is the executive director of the Roughrider Policy Center, an “innovation over regulation” think tank. She is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a lover of life and Jesus. Opinions are their own.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the forum’s editorial board nor the opinion of the forum’s ownership.

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