Traveling the Power Line: From the Mojave Desert to the Bay of Fundy

Julianne Crouch. Univ. of Nebraska, $19.95 (240p) ISBN 0803245068
Journalist Crouch (Jukeboxes & Jackalopes) leaves her home state of Wyoming to learn how electrical power is generated across the United States and to uncover the impact of various production methods. In story-driven prose, she shares her experiences touring many types of power plants, from nuclear to solar. Crouch addresses pros and cons of each method alongside detailed verbal descriptions, though generally photographs would have saved more than the proverbial thousand words. Throughout, she returns both in body and spirit to her home base, contemplating the local climate and how it impacts daily life. Crouch balances information obtained from power plant tours with commentary from local and national environmental advocacy groups; at times, complex environmental concerns impede decision-making, such as pitting local wildlife against greener power. Readers will gain information about each form of power—wind, coal, nuclear, natural gas, biomass, geothermal, solar, and hydroelectric—but Crouch's aim is not to provide an exhaustive scientific evaluation, and she avoids direct comparison and specifics, such as efficiencies, in her discussion. Rather, this is a layman's guide to the choices facing much of the country as state and federal governments move toward cleaner fuels that produce fewer greenhouse gases. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/11/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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