SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Heating & Ward Cove
By Don Borders


November 09, 2009
Monday PM

I would like to address several recent letters, or opinions to the editor of Sitnews, submissions making their greenest concern or their environmental point of view.

First, the use of electricity as the only way to go for heating and power -- I would like to point out that current economic conditions and the demographics of Ketchikan dictate which use has the lowest impact to the pocket book for the majority of the residents of Ketchikan who live from payday to payday or have no payday at all. Lofty dreams, which also trout only environmental use of Ward Cove and the total reduction of the fossil fuel's are dreams of the ones who have too many brain cells firing during the thought process, it's just bad science (or no science) and polluted logic. For example, the source of power used for heating:

For generation of 1,000,000 British Thermal Units or heat in Btu's, with electric it takes 293.07 KWH to generate 1,000,000 Btu's With the current rate of Electric at KPU .0958 cents per KWH .0958 X 293.07 = $28.076 cost per 1,000,000 Btu's

With #2 Diesel it takes 7.69 gallons to produce 1,000,000 Btu's With Diesel at $2.80 (including Boro tax) per gallon from oil distributor $2.80 X 7.69 = $21.532 cost Per 1,000,000 Btu's

Diesel is still cheaper to heat our homes with, using current electric prices.

Now, if the Dam pool is expecting to lower electric rates they would need to drop the rates by roughly 1/4 to compete with the today's oil prices and the price to beat is $21.532 per 1,000,000 Btu's, $21.532 / 293.07KWH = .0734 cents per KWH or less

So, KPU must have an electrical rate charge lower than .0734 cents per KWH or lower. I doubt that the Dam pool will lower the rates that much, because, the new transmission lines, administrative cost, Dam purchase and development bond(s) will need to be paid for by you and I, the consumers. So, expect, current KPU meter charges will eventually go up from the current rates.

With additional thought, cost to add a second meter-base to the home which could meter an lower electrical rate will involve way more expense than a couple years heating cost using fuel oil. The logic putting in an additional meter and adding in the extra charges to the billing along with the cost to bill a second meter each month will make the dreamy thought of adding an second service to the home beyond reach or desire for the majority of home owners. That's just getting the power to the home. From there, add more cost to remodel the house for use of electric as a source of heating will need to be tallied onto the final bill just to obtain the lofty "all electric house".

Second point, as in many cases the environmentalists' thoughtless manifestations of a total green world are their dreams with very little logic or actual science behind their fanatical view-point . Current example is; suggested plan for planting of gardens at Ward Cove where the environmentalist have exclaimed as an industrial site polluted with dangerous chemicals. Who's going to eat the vegetables? Are these environmental people going to force the carrots and beets down the gullets of the rest of us just like their lofty plans to rezone and develop the Ward Cove area? Not good reasoning or thought behind the "Brain Farts" for those individuals.

On the other hand, Rob Holston has the right idea, he has realistic logic and sound reasoning behind his plan to put the land back into use and back on the tax roles. Rob's plans have an recognized need, when available, and will support his established and profitable business in the visitors industries which currently makes payroll for locals. We need more people like him to finish the turn-around of Ward Cove.

Don Borders
Ketchikan, AK


Received November 05, 2009 - Published November 09, 2009


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