David Morris discusses the new report, Energy Self-Reliant States, on CleanSkies.TV on November 10, 2008. Continue reading
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A few weeks ago I was at Iowa State University addressing 500 students and faculty at its engineering school. I was sharing a platform with former CIA Director Jim Woolsey. At one point, a student asked our views on the presidential candidates’ energy programs.
Iresponded that the essential difference between Obama and McCain is not in their goals as much as it is in the tools they would use to reach those goals. Obama believes in the active use of government authority; John McCain does not. McCain’s self-declared heroes, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan, galvanized and led a movement whose principal thesis is that government is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
The financial bailout bill passed by Congress may have once and for all put an end to T. Boone Pickens’ energy plan. Let me explain.
Until the financial meltdown obliterated all other news coverage, T. Boone and his energy plan were everywhere. His book, The First Billion Is the Hardest, is number two on the bestseller list. During the Republican and Democrat Conventions his press conferences were attended by a fawning media, virtually all of who filed stories with the theme "oil man turns wind energy advocate."
With has the potential to become one of the nation’s fastest spreading local renewable energy programs, the Berkeley city council last night voted unanimously to use the city’s bonding authority to finance rooftop solar on residential properties. The city will pay the upfront costs and property owners will repay those costs over 20 years through a special assessment on their property tax bills. If a person moves, the solar system will stay at the property and the new owners will assume the remaining years of the assessment.
The Republicans keep handing the Democrats a winning election issue. And the Democrats keeping refusing to accept the gift. I hope the beginning of the formal election campaign knocks some sense into them.
Thegift is the Republicans’ continued opposition to extending renewable energy incentives. Eight times since the fall of 2007, a Republican-threatened filibuster has thwarted a vote on extending these incentives. They will expire at the end of this year — and with that expiration, many believe the solar and wind industries will come to a grinding halt.
Al Gore’s heroic speech challenging us to make our electrical system 100 percent renewable promised it would simultaneously address three major crises: the weak economy, catastrophic climate change and the dire national security problems inherent in our dependence on imported oil.
He got two out of three right. A crash renewable electricity initiative would provide an immediate boost to our economy and could slow climate change, since electricity accounts for about a third of our overall greenhouse gas emissions.
ILSR vice president, David Morris, responds to Al Gore’s recent speech proposing a 10 year effort to move the United States to a 100% renewable energy electric system to address three major crises: the weak economy, catastrophic climate change and the dire national security problems inherent in our dependence on imported oil. Morris says that Gore got got two out of three right. Continue reading
This August 2008 report by David Morris and John Farrell was sponsored by the Ford Foundation. The next 20 years could generate as much as $1 trillion in new renewable energy investment in rural America. The report is a policy roadmap for states and the federal government that would redesignpolicies to encourage a highly decentralized and dispersed renewable energy industry that is significantly locally owned. Doing so would multiply the number of rural areas that benefit from burgeoning renewable energy industries, and would create a sustainable asset whose wealth and revenue will largely remain in revived local communities and regions.
Updating our pathbreaking 2003 report, this June 2008 report by David Morris describes how commercially available technologies today could transform our petroleum powered transportation system into one powered by electricity and biofuels. Provisions in the recently passed Energy Act could accelerate that transformation. With the adoption of complementary policies, the revolution in our transportation sector can generate an equally profound revolution in our electricity sector. Hundreds of thousands of locally owned wind turbines and solar electric arrays supplying flexible fueled, plug-in hybrid vehicles can allow tens of millions of Americans to become energy producers not just energy consumers.