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I got the surprise of my life when people were complaining about a DR editorial. You mean the BYH column is not the...

No shame in renewable energy

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Lawrence Watts, in July 4th’s Public Forum, challenged anyone to obtain and publish the "real numbers" of energy production by the Amazon Wind Farm in NC (near Elizabeth City). In 2018, according to windexchange.energy.gov, the production was more than 500,000 megawatt hours.

Watts asserted that these production records would shame politicians who vote for spending tax dollars so foolishly. Perhaps, but the Outer Banks Voice reported in 2017 that the Amazon Wind Farm was a $400 million investment into the local economy and will inject more than $1 million annually in landowner and tax payments. No shame in that.

There is much to regret in the use of non-renewable energy. Beside the environmental damage, the direct financial drain is stunning. In Pitt County we have no local sources of non-renewable fuels. Thus in 2018-2019 Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC) must export $150 million of local dollars to buy energy ($130 million for electricity and another $20 million for natural gas). More than $400,000 per day leaves our local economy. And energy costs for transportation exceed the GUC expenditures.

In Pitt County we spend about $240 million per year for motor vehicle fuels (estimate based on per capita use from the U.S. Energy Information Agency.) With no local oil refineries that is an economic drain. This estimate is only the cost of fuels, $2 per gallon for gas and $2.50 for diesel. Not included is the $0.583 in taxes per gallon, which is $65 million more. There is some chance the fuel taxes will be spent locally.

A financial burden would be lifted if we generated renewables locally. Further, renewables do not contribute to climate change. In the meantime, we should aggressively pursue conservation to use every bit of purchased energy wisely. No shame in that.

Barney Kane

Greenville

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Letters

August 25, 2019

Several years ago, superintendents from school districts in eastern North Carolina sat down with leaders from the region’s largest industries to discuss current and future needs for our workforce. What we heard was surprising. School districts were told that we were often not nimble enough to…

August 24, 2019

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August 24, 2019

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August 23, 2019

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August 22, 2019

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August 21, 2019

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August 21, 2019

The Greenville Advocacy team, a division of the nonpartisan peace and justice lobby, Friends Committee on National Legislation, invites you to a showing of the documentary on the United States longest and costliest war. Please join us at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Unitarian Universalist Church at…

August 20, 2019

The east branch of the Shepard Memorial library is one of the best library's in the USA.

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August 19, 2019

Many fear that President Trump is “an existential threat” to our nation and our world. That fear is nothing new.

In 2017, Dr. Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine who specializes in violence prevention, felt compelled to organize a conference of mental…

August 19, 2019

Now that Greg Murphy has won the nomination to run for North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, I have some questions for him.

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