From a sustainability perspective, each KIUC decision must meet three tests.
First, is it SMART: Does it account for peak oil?
Second, is it SAFE: Does it achieve the required emissions reductions to avoid catastrophic climate change?
Third, is it FAIR: Does it promote equitable access to resources?
A quick assessment of KIUC's "GenX" proposal suggests that it only partially meets the first test, is not likely to meet the second, and major questions remain regarding the third.
Here's why. "GenX" uses fossil-fuels, so its purchase would actually move us away from oil-independence in the short run. That’s a show-stopper, right?
Yet, because GenX can also use bio-fuel, it could improve our independence...as long as there is a local source for bio-fuel.
Oh, and, there’s more to accounting for peak oil..like changed behaviors that are already helping to reduce demand, and obviate the need for GenX in the first place (see Part II) .
On the other hand, emissions from bio-fuels may not be much different from oil or coal, depending on the type of bio-fuel and how it is produced.
Moreover, equitable access to resources could actually could actually be impeded if, for example, a significant fraction of our land is taken up with bio-fuel production and costs remain high.
Get the picture? For all of these reasons, we need KIUC to go greener, sooner, cheaper.