Co-op CEO speaks to Rotary Club of Chilton County about energy

Published 5:34 pm Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tom Stackhouse had an opportunity to hone his message about the United States’ energy dilemma.

Stackhouse, president and CEO of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Chilton County on Wednesday. He will speak on the same topic at a Chilton County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at noon on Oct. 2.

Tom Stackhouse spoke to the Rotary Club of Chilton County, an organization he helped form.

As government leaders promote development of renewable forms of energy, energy providers will struggle, Stackhouse said.

“I’ve always believed that you need diversity in anything you do,” he said. “We have a diverse system right now, but we’re being pushed toward renewables.”

Stackhouse distributed information that showed 44.9 percent of U.S. electricity was generated by coal in 2009, followed by natural gas at 23.4 percent, nuclear at 20.3 percent, hydroelectric at 6.9 percent, other renewables at 3.6 percent and petroleum at 1 percent.

The problem with leaning more on renewables, Stackhouse said, is that they generally require much more land area, and in some cases, appropriate locations are difficult to find. Also, windmills, for example, produce electricity only a percentage of the time, so other methods are needed for filling in the gaps.

Stackhouse warned that problems in the energy industry would inevitably affect the everyday lives of Americans.

“Where there is no reliable, affordable energy, life is short and life is hard,” he said. “The point is that we could be self-reliant, if we went about it the right way.”

Stackhouse has helped charter seven Rotary Clubs, including, most recently, the Chilton County club.