To the editor:
Wind and water are vital components of Kodiak, and have been tapped by KEA to provide energy for the community. I would like to commend the KEA board for their vision and forward thinking concerning sustainable energy sources. Given the community’s dependence on the surrounding environment for employment opportunities and recreation, KEA’s actions demonstrate that despite our remote location it is possible to be progressive and move away from fossil fuel energy sources.
As a college student I have spent the past three months abroad in Puerto San Carlos, Baja California Sur, Mexico. There are many parallels between Kodiak and Puerto San Carlos, a beautiful coast, where water laps the shoreline, wind ripples the bay and rustles through the trees and mangroves, and the fishing industry is the primary economic driver.
In Puerto San Carlos, the sole source of power for the community comes from a beast of a diesel plant located just outside of town.
Pollution from the plant is evident. Looking back towards town from the middle of the bay, two smokestacks dot the horizon, spewing out thick clouds of yellow smoke. The same dense yellow lines of smoke stretch across the desert.
Interviews conducted with local fishermen have linked the pollution and contamination from the power plant to decreases in fish catches and declines in the overall abundance of fish stocks. Without healthy fish stocks the community of Puerto San Carlos and its inhabitants will suffer economically.
I am lucky to live in a community where clean energy production does not threaten our livelihoods. Thanks again to KEA for recognizing the importance of sustainable energy options and implementing them around Kodiak.