Did Charles Patton Really Say That?

I was just reading an article by Sarah Tincher in The State Journal about a meeting in Beckley earlier today where people got together to talk about compliance with EPA’s rule 111(d).

At the end of the article I read the following quotes from Appalachian Power CEO Charles Patton:

“Just to say we’re going to stop using these power plants and invest in wind mills and solar panels and have our customers pay for it is just – it’s crazy,” he said. “The other thing is renewables — they’re important part of portfolio but the wind doesn’t blow all the time and the sun doesn’t shine all the time.

“We need some sort of fossil based or nuclear power,” he added. “As we saw during the Polar Vortex, the wind didn’t quite blow the way it was forecasted to. It’s important to keep that in mind.

I think Mr. Patton is a pretty smart guy.  He was either very poorly prepared or he was deliberately misleading his listeners.

Look at what really happened during the 2014 polar vortex cold spells:

For the second time in two weeks, wind power once again kept consumers’ energy costs down as extreme cold drove energy prices to record highs across much of the eastern U.S.

Electricity and natural gas prices skyrocketed to 10 to 50 times normal across parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes states as extreme cold drove demand for electric and gas heating to near-record levels late last week. Fortunately, regional wind energy output was strong throughout these periods of peak demand, producing around 3,000 megawatts (MW) on the evening of Jan. 22 when supply was particularly tight, and roughly 3,000 to 4,000 MW for nearly all of Jan. 23 as electricity prices remained very high.

The savings that wind energy provided for consumers last week likely tally in the millions if not tens of millions of dollars, as wind energy reduced consumers’ energy costs in several major ways. Wind energy always provides these savings for consumers, which is why more than a dozen state government, grid operator, and other studies have confirmed that wind energy reduces consumers’ electricity prices.

Mr. Patton doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to come to an important meeting without being prepared.  That leaves only one alternative – he was knowingly spouting false propaganda for his employer, American Electric Power.

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