Here’s a story from Fortune regarding gas shortages in the South.
While I recognize that this particular situation was related to a weather disruption (Hurricane Ike), many experts agree that the high oil prices are clearly the result of growing demand and inadequate supply. High prices and what we hope for now are temporary supply disruptions could be the harbinger of worse things to come.
But could the same thing also happen with respect to electricity?
Today, electricity demand is growing at twice the rate that we’re adding new capacity. And some groups (along with former Vice President Al Gore) are suggesting that activists take “drastic” measures to prevent the construction on new power facilities that have been granted permits from state and local authorities (and even in some cases have successfully won legal challenges that were lodged by these groups).
The fact is, our electricity needs in this country are growing and we’re going to need new coal-based power plants (along with other energy sources as well). Once people accept the fact that coal will be part of our energy future, we can work together on putting efforts toward supporting R&D for advanced clean coal technologies for carbon capture and storage. That way we can have our cake and eat it too.