Chip DeNure wrote to praise the wonder of coal-generated electricity (Tribune, Dec. 31), and to demonize those who cite what he considers to be questionable science in doing so.

Point conceded that electricity is useful and that coal-fired power plants were a wonder in their day, which is now disappearing into the history books. So have the land-line telephone, the horse and buggy and the whale-oil lamp. All have disappeared or are disappearing because we found cheaper, safer or more useful replacements.

Most of the collapse of the coal industry should be blamed on the capitalists who are shuttering coal-fired plants in favor of combined cycle natural gas plants, which are cheaper to operate and are more flexible in varying their output in response to our varying needs.

Other alternatives to coal are also popular with the electric utilities, because they are cheaper. These include hydro, wind and solar power.

The world is moving ahead, not only because of concern about our environment but also because of concern about money.

Pete Gruendeman, Town of Barre

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