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Lake Stevens Journal
Lake Stevens, Washington
June 1, 2011     Lake Stevens Journal
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June 1, 2011
 

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Page 2 GUESTI EDITORIAL It’s good to have neighbors with gas ll m C. "Will. I PRES. ASSOC. 0F WA BUSINESS By 2025, the TransAlta energy facility in Centralia must replace coal with natural gas to generate electricity, but Washington has no gas to offer. Fortunately, we have neighbors with an abundance of gas— natural gas, that is—to ship to us. In Washington, three-quarters of our electricity comes from hydropower. But 14 percent of it comes from coal burned at the TransAlta facility, which employs 600 people in good family-wage jobs and provides heat and light for 1.23 million homes. We must replace that coal with another type of fuel, and the energy source of choice these days is natural gas. Natural gas already plays ‘a major role in serving homes, hospitals, schools and retail centers in Washington. Bellevue- based Puget Sound Energy serves nearly 750,000 natural gas customers in parts of Snohomish, King, Pierce, Lewis, Thurston and Kittitas counties. On the east side of our state, Spokané—basod Avista serves nearly 147,000‘natural gas customers. As our population continues to grow from an estimated 6.5 million today to 8.2 million in 2025, Washington will need more natural gas and electricity, but from where? The Washington Utilities and Trans- portation Commission reports that cur- rently half of our natural gas supply comes from British Columbia and Alberta; the remainder comes from Rocky Mountain production sites, primarily in Wyoming. Our state will rely on those suppliers and may also see an infusion of natural gas from Alaska’s North Slope and possibly from liquid natural gas if a suitable port and an accompanying pipeline receive permits. As electric utilities across the country face eliminating coal while meeting grow- ing energy needs, the demand for natural gas around the nation will continue to rise. Coal, which accounts for nearly half the power production in our nation, is consid- ered a “dirty” fuel because of the green- house gases, sulfur and mercury emitted . , flake . Published by tho m‘m Journal, Inc. , Copyright 2011. . Editorial Policy The editorial philosophy of the lake Ste- vens Journal is to provide informative and entertaining stories about the people, events and issues of our community. The journal reserves the right to edit all submitted material, whether news or edilo rial, for content, grammar, taste, style or length to best serve the paperand the com- , titlinity. Submitted items are published at the Journal's discretion and rellect solely the opinion at the author and are not necessar- ily the opinion at the Journal or its staff. Letters to the editor are'welcomed and must beless than 300 words. include a signature, address and daytime phone number for verilioation. Published letters will include the letter-writer’s name and city of residence. Anonymous letters and letters to third parties are not accepted. , No advertisements, columns, letters to the editor or other information will be published that contain discrimination based on sex, color, creed, race, religion, national origin, age, sexual preference; or which are simply in bad taste. Mantra“: Your hometown newspaper slnce 1960 during burning. Even though TransAlta has significantly reduced its emissions, the Legislature bowed to public pressure and decided to accelerate the conversion to natural gas. While most view natural gas as a desir- able environmental alternative, much of what is called “conventional” gas is drying up. Conventional gas is where producers drill wells and tap gas pockets or forma- tions where it flows freely to the surface. A new wave of “unconventional” gas is filling the void. Newer horizontal deep drilling is opening up deposits which can be 10,000 feet or more beneath the surface. This gas is in shale basins that must be fractured or broken apart and injected with water and chemicals so the gas can flow to surface. While none of those shale formations are located in our state, they are prevalent in northwest Canada and in massive formations that run diagonally from Texas to upper NewYork state and on into eastern Canada. Last month, London’s online version of the Guardian newspaper reported that, in the next 10 years, the US. will use fracturing technology or “tracking,” which President Obama favors, to drill hundreds of thousands of wells in cities, rivers and watersheds. Both drilling and fracking are fast expanding across Europe, South Africa and Russia, as well. But local resistance to the increased drilling is beginning to surface in upper New York, Pennsylvania and in Quebec. The rub is the sight of drilling rigs, chemi- cals used in the fracking process and po— tential groundwater contamination. However, what 'may be even more troubling is scientists are learning that the new natural gas may emit equivalent levels of greenhouse gases as burning coal. Gas conversion may not be the win-win lawmakers trumpeted. , &), while it is good to have neighbors A blessed with abundant gas, our elected officials must understand that there is no panacea. All fuel sources, whether natural gas, solar, nuclear, crude oil, wind power, hydro, gee-thermal and even coal, have their good and bad points. Corned Us The lake Stevens Journal PO Box 896.0 1909 Main Street lake Stevens, WA 98258 4253349252 Fax 4253349239 www.lal_<,g§tgvenslourngl.cam President a'nd Publisher Desiree Cahoon (Io-Publisher Pam Stevens News: Deadline Thursday at 5 pm. email news@lakestevensjournal.com , Managing Editor Pam Stevens Advertising: Nina Lawrence Deadline Thursday at pm. email ads@lakestevens_tournal.com Art Director/Graphics Shane Kantzer Graphic Designer Kelcey Hatch Clam: Deadline Monday at IO am. Call 425-3349252 or email classiliedsOlakesteuensjoumalcom OfiiooMmagor/Aooomting Leah Hughes-Anderson . Minion: DistributedeyeryWednesdayviaUSA/toiltothegreater LalreStevensandGranita Falls W: Within Snohahish County: $47/yeor, 332/ senior citizens. Outside Snohomish County: 360/ year, $50/ senior citizens, Lake Stevens Journal June 1, 2011 YOURl LETTERS Is our government beyond repair? Dear Editor, Our government is broken almost to a point of no return. Our party system is not worldng properly and never will. We hire these people in Congress to do the will of the people who vote them into office. We pay them about $3,400 per week and all we hear onTVis them giving speeches that we have heard over and over and over again, but speeches get nothing done. Instead, we need action. No one has the guts to tell the truth. Now our debt is so high that the interest alone is eating us alive. The Senate wants to cut the debt by cut- ting spending. The first thing they want to cut is Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, etc. Now where did our money , go that we have all put in when we were working? The government took it out and what is left but IOUs that they cannot pay back to the Social Security Fund because our government is broke. You never hear about cutting out all the people hired by the government that we do not need or cutting the wages of Congress in both houses. We are buying oil at top prices when we have all the oil we need right here in the USA. The government has tied up the land so no one can drill on it. Big oil companies are ready to finance the drilling, creating hundreds of jobs, but are not allowed to. ' Now as far as the two wars, Iraq and ‘ Afghanistan, those people do not even want us there and the cost is staggering. Russia had sense enough to quit because they knew they could not win. Other countries around the world are rebelling because of corrupt government, so what have we got in our own government but some of the same. We do not need rich lobbyists to bribe our lawmakers to do what they want them to do. So the story is, we need a whole new system of running this great USA of ours that we all love. I am writing this as a United States citizen, born in the USA in 1917. I. have seen our country go downhill over the years. So may God help us if it is not already too late. Russ Page Granite Falls Thanks to those who helped at ’Noodles forNoah' fundraiser Dear Editor, On behalf of Mike and Grace Silva, I would like to thank everyone who turned out for the “Noodles for Noah” spaghetti dinner on Saturday, May 21. . An especially big thanks goes to Luca Nasti of Luca’s Pizzeria & Ristorante for his generosity of time, skill, and ingredi- ents; Eric Stewart and Ebenezer Lutheran Church, far/their time and space; Susan DaSilva for her skill in the kitchen and organizing the food service; and all of our volunteers who put in so much time and effort. While we raised about $2,500, we fell short of the $7,500 the Silvas need to travel to Eastern Europe to rescue Noah from an orphanage there. If anyone was unable to attend and wishes to donate, they can do so at http:// reecesrainbovv.org/sponsorsilva. AmyBattei-sonw Lake Stevens Snowmen @erniionh Bilernftfitin I [Benn [Penn] Stills fl run sin , s opium suian Lake Stevens . 9623 32nd St. Highwey 9 business corner (425) 335-1111 DEITISTR'Y lle as at; wwwaentistryiahestesenses.