Sunday, August 31, 2008

Energy Rally for America

This is a great grass roots effort. Americans are tired of politics as usual - blaming the other side for political gain instead of coming up with real bi-partisan solutions. Please look at what The Energy Rally for America is doing and seriously consider signing on to help them. The Rally is on September 8th!

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

How do Obama's & McCain's Energy Plans compare to The 21st Century Energy Initiative?

See for yourself how Obama's and McCain's plan compare. Right now, Obamas' plan is better than McCain's. All McCain has to do is to show how he is different from both Obama and Bush: and he could win over independents!

How can this happen?

One of the critical success factors in this election is - who will win over independent voters? As usual the issue is: How will the next President affect my pocketbook? The biggest single metric for the economy is the price of gas. It's something voters are reminded of 2 to 5 times a month; every time they fill up their gas tanks. McCain has got to differentiate himself by focusing on renewable energy technology acceleration and commercialization: Applying significantly more resources than he is currently planning.

Obama's plan. McCain's plan.

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Those who like sausage and respect laws should watch neither being made.

Amazing: Off for a month.
Our Congress NOT at work: On Energy - on recess.
Pelosi's perspective.
Our Congress at work. It is not pretty.
And for a little fun: Cheney / Pelosi "blink-off". Guess who wins?


The portion of Obama's speech that works

I liked and hated Obama's DNC speech. Many things right (investing in renewable energy). Many things wrong (obviating people's self-responsibility). That portion on renewable energy that makes sense:

"Washington’s been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years. Today, we import triple the amount of oil. Now is the time to end this addiction. As President, I will invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy – wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and new jobs. America, now is not the time for small plans."


Thursday, August 28, 2008

US Launches a CleanTech Fund... for China!(?)

Here's $30 billion that will be spent to help China & India to clean up their energy act. Interesting... Wouldn't it make sense to spend those US dollars at home, for US energy industry? In other news, it took from January until August to find someone to lead this.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oregon Governor's Summit

Governor Ted Kulongoski held a summit on Oregon's Energy Future. He brought in representatives from the business community, energy industry, environmental community, consumer advocates, labor and economists. Results of this will be posted.


Automotive X-Prize Launches

From their press release: "The technology-neutral competition, a project of the X PRIZE Foundation, is open to teams from around the world that can design and build production-capable, 100 MPGe (miles per gallon energy equivalent) vehicles that people will want to buy and that meet market needs for price, size, capability, safety and performance. Winners of the $10 million prize purse will need to exceed 100 MPG equivalent fuel economy, fall under strict emissions caps and finish in the fastest time."

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U.S.: Third World Grid?

A major challenge facing renewable-energy growth is a real-world challenge: Getting power from where it is produced to where it is needed is no small challenge! Points to the need for "DG": distributed generation - where not only are transmission costs avoided, but so are "I2R" losses. Think transformers!

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Monday, August 25, 2008

OIl on the Brain

Check out Lisa Margonelli's website - and her book "Oil on the Brain." Lisa is an Irvine Fellow at the New America Foundation.

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New America Foundation

The New America Foundation has many innovative ideas in several areas. One could say "Beyond Politics." Regarding Energy & the Environment, check out the link.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Institute for 21st Century Energy

While thumbing through Parade Magazine today, I came across a brief article about the Institute for 21st Century Energy. They propose neither "red state" nor "blue state" solutions... rather American Solutions. Hard-left & hard-right politicos may have a problem with their approach, but it is the right approach. Please consider signing their letter (in the "Join Us!" box)!

One of their "13 Energy Principles*" points to the additional need to commercialize technology from additionally-funded labs - which is the basis of NXergy, Inc.: A Renewable Energy Technology Accelerator.

* Significantly Increase Funding for Research, Development, and Demonstration of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Check out the American Energy Independence website

Ron Bengtson provides excellent insights into our energy situation - and what to do about it. Check out his website!


Citizens for Affordable Energy

John Hofmeister (ex-President of Shell Oil) is interviewed by Charlie Rose: You *must* watch this video! It provides a common sense, (truly) balanced approach to dealing with our energy challenges.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

U.S. Senator Harry Reid takes action!

Industry leaders, scientists, policy experts, citizens, and the media are gathering in Nevada at the National Clean Energy Summit hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to chart a course for our nation's clean energy future. This is a pivotal opportunity to focus on defining a policy agenda that accelerates the development of renewable energy, energy-efficiency technologies, and robust clean energy markets in Nevada, the nation, and the world.

(Update: 11 key recommendations made as a result.)

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Simple, yet innovative energy solution

Researchers published a paper (International Symposium on Asphalt Pavements and Environment in Zurich)) detailing a technique for using water-carrying pipes to convert the built-up heat in asphalt roads into usable energy.The paper argues that asphalt roads have a number of advantages over solar-electric panels as a source of distributed energy.


Rationale for a 21st Century Energy Initiative

The rationale for solving our energy problems are many, and the benefits are great. These are just a few of the obvious reasons:

Increase energy independence: There are radicals and terrorists – with ill intent toward the United States - coming from mainly oil-exporting nations. The United States is indirectly funding their actions. We should be beholden to NO country for a major source of our energy.
Improve energy security & stability: Another aspect of independence is decreasing the volatility of energy prices, due to other countries’ actions.
Lessen the need for war: By creating our 100% of our own transportation fuel, the need to interfere in other countries’ affairs decreases dramatically.
Balance the federal budget: The money saved in funding these excursions reduces federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, which helps balance the federal budget.
Reduce price of gas at the pump: With more stable energy sources, the cost of doing business will decrease, further stabilizing energy prices.
Increase the value and power of the dollar: By surpassing an “Energy Independence” mindset – with a goal to be a net-exporter of renewable energy and renewable energy technologies, the value of the United States’ dollar will increase.
Decrease pollution: By focusing on sources of energy that do not require “burning stuff”, emissions will reduce, which will also reduce pollution.
Curtail carbon emissions: As a result of “fuel shifting” to cleaner energy, carbon emissions will also be reduced.
Reduce climate change: By reducing pollution and carbon emissions, human-impact (whether the root cause or not) will decrease.
Build a sustainable future: By shifting to fuels that are replaceable, natural resources will be available for our children and grandchildren.

The "kick-off" to heading toward this initiative can be found in The Presidential Speech I'd Like to Hear.

Monday, August 18, 2008

An All-Electric Vehicle Solution

Andy Grove revs up his electric-car approach: In The American, he discusses this need specifically. In Wired, he discusses the problems with Picken's Plan and Gore's focus. Worth reading!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Charlie Rose Interviews Amory Lovins

Dr. Lovins (Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Institute) lays out what needs to happen on Charlie Rose's show. (It also [mainly] in line with what has been in this blog and my new book.)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Even Paris Hilton's got an Energy Plan

"Limited offshore drilling with strict regulatory oversight, while providing tax incentives for auto manufacturers to move toward electric." Both a short and long term; and balanced approach. All this... during August, when Congress takes their re-election, er... summer recess - to blame the other side for our energy problems.


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Denmark's Response to the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo (vs. US')

From Thomas Freidman of the NY Times: "Unlike America, Denmark, which was so badly hammered by the 1973 Arab oil embargo that it banned all Sunday driving for a while, responded to that crisis in such a sustained, focused and systematic way that today it is energy independent."

From my new book: "In 1973, Denmark was 98% dependent on foreign oil. As a result of the tremendous economic shock to their economy, they (collectively) made a decision to do something. As a result, today, they are a net-exporter of renewable energy technologies. This is like the frog in the water: When a frog is thrown into boiling water, it will jump out. If a frog is in lukewarm water that is slowly brought to a boil, it will stay in the water and die. I fear the U.S. was in lukewarm water in 1973, while Denmark was thrown into boiling water. Perhaps, now we realize we are in boiling water and will collectively make the bold decisions and take urgent action to make a significant difference to solve our energy problems, once and for all."

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Stagflation Growing

As identified in this blog 2 years ago*, Stagflation is something to be concerned about. Now, The Economist is reporting on it - and for good reason: "This suggests that the economic malaise will stretch well into next year, and maybe into 2010. ... If there was one lesson that policymakers learned in the 1970s, it is that there is no easy cure for stagflation. After the nice years, a hard slog lies ahead."

Point? The decisions we make now need to be fact-based, long-term oriented, instead of driven by election cycle politics - what seems (almost) "fanciful", now.

* And in a research report, in 2005 (page 8), item #2 "Make a Decision".

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tradeoffs required to "Go Green"

Evan Thomas of Newsweek makes some excellent points about the complex issues to be dealt - in order to move toward a renewable future.


Obama & McCain's Energy Plans

McCain is now calling it an"Energy Strategy" (1) and Obama has taken pages out of my (prior) thinking on this topic - from the 2005 research report(2). The good thing is... it's front and center (where it needs to be). The bad thing is: they're still playing politics.

The good: Obama's talking about complete independence from the Middle East & Venezuela in 10 years. This is even more doable than complete independence, since we import more from Canada. McCain is looking to industry for answers... as part of the solution.

The bad: McCain's "strategy" does not invest enough. Obama's "plan" is still centered on industry being the bad guy.

Perhaps these two could read "The Blame Game" section of my new book (a draft of which was sent to both of them, early in the year) and come up with fact-based, bipartisan solutions. Oh right... after the election.

Notes: (1) From my book: "What to do About the High Price of Gasoline" - that I sent Obama, McCain and Clinton several months ago. (2) From my research (in 2005): Page three (at the bottom - Item #1: $15 billion / year). Created June, 2005: Sent to McCain, Obame and Clinton, then.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Crisis, schmisis: Let's go on a recess

The Oregonian editorial is spot on: "Lawmakers skipped home for their summer recess having done nothing to help this country, now or in the future, with its energy problems." To be fair, some lawmakers are trying to make a difference. It's just difficult to see, sometimes.


Friday, August 01, 2008

Two Excellent Organizations

Two organizations worth checking out:

Rocky Mountain Institute: Is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization. Their work is independent, non-adversarial, and transideological, with a strong emphasis on market-based solutions.

The New Energy Movement: Acts to promote the rapid widespread deployment of advanced, clean, and sustainable energy sources.

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"$1,000 energy rebates?" This makes no sense!

Let's see... Obama is (rightfully) against McCain's "Gas Tax Holiday" - mainly because it maintains (or worsens) fuel addiction. Now he thinks the Government should step in and give consumers $1000 (of their own money) back for an "energy rebate"... then says he'll pay for it via a windfall profits tax. Election year politics: "Can I buy your vote?" Round 2. (Round 1 being the "stimulus package rebates".)

If "rebates" are such a good idea, why not just lower taxes and call it good?