Calvert Cliffs setback is an opportunity for renewable energy

In Jay Hancock's article, "Lack of climate change bill killed new nuclear reactor" (October 10), he concludes that now, more than ever, large, expensive interstate transmission lines, particularly PATH and TrAIL, are needed for electricity. This is a faulty conclusion. The same reasoning that made Calvert Cliffs 3 illogical works against PATH and TrAIL — there are more viable alternatives economically and environmentally.

First and foremost is energy efficiency and demand response. It is absolutely critical that the Public Service Commission work to fully implement the EmPOWER Maryland legislation, which will reduce energy consumption 15 percent. Not only is this option the cheapest, it's also the quickest, safest and cleanest for our environment.

Concurrently, rather than investing in multi-billion dollar transmission lines to pump in out-of-state coal electricity, our state should be focused on in-state generation of electricity with offshore wind power. Not only would this secure our energy future but it would put Marylanders back to work. A one gigawatt wind farm would create 4,000 manufacturing and construction jobs and would add 800 permanent jobs to run the wind farm after construction, all while increasing our energy independence and stabilizing energy costs for 25 years without any air pollution or greenhouse gases.

Maryland consumers are off the hook for footing the bill for the Calvert Cliffs 3 project. Let's not jump to conclusions and make the wrong multi-billion dollar energy investment.

Alana Wase, College Park

The writer is the conservation program director of the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club.

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