Go with best available energy

By Ken Bergman
The other day, a friend was grousing about having to trench the new gas line several hundred feet to his house. “Yeah,” I said. “I’m gonna be hit for $10,000.”
“How’s that,” he says.
“I do real estate. I’ve got three places, two rentals and my own house. But we need it,” I say. “If only the hospital and the schools get it, we are saving money.”
I have never had kids in school and never been in the hospital, and I still pay those taxes. In the ‘70s, when I got here, everybody would go down to the beach to pick up coal.
Then, Toyo stoves came in and everybody got rid of their wood/coal stoves. Now, heating oil is almost $4 a gallon. People are driving Priuses.
In the ‘80s, the first electric cars were outlawed. A guy up on Diamond Ridge put up a wind tower and tried to hook up to Homer Electric. No way, no how. Too dangerous. Could fry him. Nowadays it’s happening and HEA is letting the meters turn backwards.
For 40 years, people in our little cosmic hamlet have been begging the governor(s) to bring us a gas line. Our honorable judge, recently retired mayor, has helped the process. Clients of mine in Girdwood have told me that when natural gas got there, property values went up and utility costs went down.
In my own No View Avenue neighborhood, our property values have tripled since we got water and sewer. It took 25 years after I moved in down there to get water and sewer. I didn’t push for it. I didn’t fight against it. I stayed in the middle, listened to the consensus and the majority got their way. That’s democracy.
Water and sewer in Homer was built piecemeal, neighborhood by neighborhood. That’s why it took 25 years for my neighborhood to get it. Then we got paving, and that was $7,000 to me.
Now the city has jumped through all the state’s hoops to get natural gas here. All the democratic processes have been served – 540 are against. That is 14 percent of the folks who are investing in this project. Like it or not, democracy is being served.
I like yurts. They remind me of the ‘70s, when folks were putting up teepees. I designed the first permanent, insulated roof for a yurt. It is a mile north of Skyline Drive.
A yurt is kind of a new and improved teepee. In winter, they require constant heat because they have virtually no insulation.
A big yurt on a concrete foundation sold a couple years ago up by Anchor Point. It had a well, septic, the works. I reviewed the utility bills. That lady paid a monthly oil bill that made my head spin faster than an HEA meter. 
Another lady recently wrote a letter to the editor enthusing about alternative energy sources. Some are being used now and are the wave of the future, but now, in this middle place in time, we need to go with the best we have available.
To try and get the energy value we will get out of this gas line by using solar would be an upfront investment of more than $70 million.
They are studying thermal options from our local volcanoes and tidal water action. Maybe in 40 more years it will be here. Green energy, carbon footprint, etc. are all new terms on our computer screens which are new to us as well.
I’m just an old retired carpenter trying to hang onto the speed of my new mouse while my computer screen flashes the entire universe in front of me in nanoseconds. I’m optimistic for the future of Homer’s energy needs.
Anybody heard of a guy named Tesla?

Ken Bergman is a long-time resident and real estate broker.

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Posted by on Feb 13th, 2013 and filed under Point of View. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses for “Go with best available energy”

  1. Kearbear says:

    Ever hear of a man named Tesla? Yes I have.

    “The federal government has invested in the effort to find a solution. Three years ago, Steven Chu, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist and secretary of energy, proudly announced a $465 million loan to Tesla as part of an advanced vehicles program intended to cut fossil fuel use and address global warming.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/automobiles/stalled-on-the-ev-highway.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&ref=automobiles

    People are being asked to spend $60,000 to $100,000 to purchase one and yet they can travel no where safely or without anxiety.

  2. Kearbear says:

    Ever hear of a man named Tesla? Yes I have.

    “President Obama repeatedly declared that, with enough federal aid, we can put a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. His administration has invested about $5 billion in grants, guaranteed loans — including $465 million for Tesla — and tax incentives to buyers.

    Yet Americans bought just 71,000 plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles in the past two years”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-lane-obamas-electric-car-mistake/2013/02/11/441b39f6-7490-11e2-aa12-e6cf1d31106b_story.html

  3. Kearbear says:

    “Because of its shortcomings — driving range, cost and recharging time — the electric vehicle is not a viable replacement for most conventional cars,” said Toyota’s vice chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, in a Reuters report. “We need something entirely new.”
    Toyota Motor Co. — the world’s largest hybrid manufacturer, Reuters reports — recently announced a plan to drop pure electric-car development, also.
    The announcement follows a White House decision last week to reduce its goal of 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015, Reuters said.
    Japan has been trying to develop electric cars for 100 years, Reuters said.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/4/goodbye-prius-japan-carmakers-drop-electric-car-de/#ixzz2KouoXB6W
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  4. raised by wolves says:

    “Another lady recently wrote a letter to the editor enthusing about alternative energy sources. Some are being used now and are the wave of the future, but now, in this middle place in time, we need to go with the best we have available.”

    When the best we have “runs out” in a few years, true “unsustainable energy,” then we have invested our time, money, destruction of property, transitioning our homes to natural gas (40 years down the road), FOR WHAT? Corporations and real estate brokers profits?

    Tesla energy was MUCH more to do about FREE ENERGY than about electric cars. Nikola Tesla demonstrated the wonders of alternating current electricity in Chicago in 1893, which became the standard power in the 20th Century. Tesla designed the first hydroelectric power plant in Niagara Falls in 1895. The Tesla coil, which he invented in 1891, is widely used today in radio and television sets and other electronic equipment. Among his discoveries are the flourescent light, laser beam, wireless communications, wireless transmission of electrical energy, remote control and robotics. Tesla is the father of the radio and the modern electrical transmissions systems. Registering over 700 patents world-wide, his vision included exploration of solar energy and the power of the sea. He foresaw interplanetary communications and satellites.

    How does that make you feel about electric cars? Small. Tesla intended for the entire world to enjoy his discoveries FOR FREE, yet again, corporations decided too much profit would be lost by “giving” FREE ENERGY to the world.

    No one could control anyone if everything was free. We are quickly learning the old ways of extracting energy from the mother, are dead. Wean yourself from the tit. Stop stealing from the planet we are all bound to exist on.

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