Caroline Hughes: Pay a bit more to get wind and solar energy

Dear Editor: Did you hear about the playground in Haas Neighborhood Park that was recently coated in coal dust from the Oak Creek power plant? It’s bad — that dust contains lead, mercury, and arsenic — and this being the age of big data, I’m not sure why the utility over there removed the air monitor from the park.

But you and I are using the energy generated at that plant every day. That’s right, our little local utility, Madison Gas and Electric, is part owner to Oak Creek — belching out 11 million metric tons of greenhouse gases per year.

I know, it’s scary being part of the problem. But there’s something you can do about it. MG&E has a “Green Energy Tomorrow” program, and for an extra 2 cents per kWh, you can buy energy from wind and solar sources — guaranteed! Goodbye, guilt!

I looked at my electric bill for the past six months and did the math — if each of my roommates were to chip in 5 cents a day, we could buy our way out of this problem easily. Heck, if everyone in Madison opted in, we could be sourcing 100 percent renewable energy for $5 million a year.

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Caroline Hughes


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