Letters to the editor: July 16

July 16, 2014 

Nuclear replacing coal in region

Almost all the decline in coal production in Kentucky is due not to political reasons ("War on coal") but because it's cheaper to produce electricity with a modern, up to 61 percent efficient, natural gas combined-cycle power plant than in a 34 percent efficient coal-fired plant.

Five nuclear power plants are under construction in states close to the Central Appalachian coalfields. They will produce as much as half the electricity that Kentucky produces today. Coal demand equal to half of Kentucky's electrical generation will disappear.

The new nuclear plants and their planned startups are:

■ Watts Bar 2, Tennessee, 1,180 megawatts, 2015;

■ Vogtle 3, Georgia 1,117 megawatts, 2017.

■ Vogtle 4, Georgia, 1,117 megawatts, 2018

■ Summer 2, South Carolina 1,117 megawatts, 2017

■ Summer 3, South Carolina 1,117 megawatts, 2018

The four 1,117-megawatt reactors are a new design. They are getting substantially more government subsidy than wind or solar power get.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is contemplating finishing Bellefonte 1, a 1,100-megawatt generator, after fuel is loaded into Watts Bar 2.

That would be a sixth new nuclear power plant. TVA plans to go from 59 percent coal a few years ago to 20 percent. Coal will not be keeping all the lights on.

Alan Drake


Don't cry over Pett

I think it's funny that so many Republicans complain about Joel Pett's cartoons because they have no sense of humor — while the Democrats just laugh about stuff, even if it's about their own party.

Republicans are always going "wah, wah, he, wah, made fun of us, wah." It's been like that ever since Barack Obama became president.

I've said it before: Man up and do what's right for the American people not for your party. Oh, and quit crying.

Tim Burton


Are give-backs OK?

Are those who are clamoring for the Washington Redskins NFL team to change its name going to give the Western Hemisphere back to its original owners?

Bob Edwards


Crime a Gray matter

It's obvious that Mayor Jim Gray is in over his head and has mismanaged Lexington by removing police presence from streets.

When he parked police cars, rather than hiring policemen as our population increased, he created a crime problem, causing residents to feel unsafe.

We were impressed with candidate Anthany Beatty's press conference talking about his 37 years as a Lexington policeman, seven of those as chief of police.

Beatty has the administrative skills and background to lead Lexington.

The $5 million used to research the Rupp Arena project would've been better spent to pay police officers and increase their presence on streets.

According to the Herald-Leader, Gray has money in the 2015 budget to work with police. This is too little too late for the current situation we are facing.

Let's work to get Beatty elected as our new mayor. Lexington can be safe again with his leadership.

Doris McCray


SNAP judgment

Sen. Mitch McConnell doesn't think about where his next meal is coming from or go to bed hungry.

For many Kentuckians, food insecurity is real.

As of January 2013, 20 percent of the state population used the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. More than 38 percent of participants are in families with elderly or disabled members.

In 2013 the farm bill was debated and McConnell voted for an amendment to cut $4.1 billion from SNAP over 10 years — it was defeated.

McConnell wants to make you believe those who receive SNAP benefits are lazy.

But, 28,000 veterans and laid-off coal miners depend on SNAP.

The average monthly benefit in Kentucky in 2012 was $127.43, and the average monthly benefit per person per meal was $1.42.

All this is food for thought when voting. It's time for change, and I will be voting for Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Linwood Hardy


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