Monday, July 16, 2007

Energy Independence Will Require Radical Changes

Before I begin my discussion on this topic, let me preface by saying that the origin of the Republican Party was in radical ideology... Equality for all men, regardless of skin tone, in a time when slavery was openly practiced over much of the US, and the world. So we were born on radical ideas, and it is on such that we must continue to grow.

Most presidential candidates are talking about an energy independence plan that revolves around a 20-40% reduction in foreign oil consumption by 2020... This is a fancy way of saying that you have a plan, with a fine-print-promise of "It aint gonna happen!"

Energy independence, serious energy independence, does not come from 20 year plans with little or no gain on current situations. Such plans guarantee future energy based wars in regions of the world that would rather not have US occupation.
So to get results, we need Radical Changes... radical changes in the form of Radical Policy and Radical New Laws. I am not one to support bigger government or more laws... but in this case it is a new law that will steer the "norm" in a new direction.

When the congress passed their "sweeping fuel consumption reform" they praised themselves as the car companies grumbled in protest... the reform: mandating 40 mpg average on ALL vehicles by 2020... in hopes to reduce fuel consumption. But with the number of vehicles on the road increasing each year, this does nothing to energy consumption but maintain the status quo!

We need an energy independence bill to go through both houses and the oval office that will guarantee immediate and drastic change... Complete energy independence in less than 8 years from the time of passage... Sounds impossible, but is it? Oh, it will piss off the oil industry... but it is time to "break the addiction". My legislation would look something like this (legal jargon omitted) -

1. 100% of All new vehicles to be sold in the United States shall be Ethanol E-85, Flex Fuel, Ethanol/Hybrid technology, Bio-Diesel, or otherwise burning less than 15% total petrol per tank of fuel by the year 2012.

2. All Oil industry subsidies shall be stopped, and money used instead to prepare the ethanol & bio-diesel infrastructure, including ethanol fuel crops, ethanol / bio-diesel production, and distribution centers. All fueling stations shall be required to provide alternative fueling options (ethanol and/or bio-diesel)

3. US should fund creation of new power plants within the US, to include ONLY clean fuels, excluding Nuclear fission plants. Plants should include Offshore-Wind, Tidal Generators, Geothermal Generators, and Solar Plants.

4. States should be classified as "Sunshine" or "Non-Sunshine" states/regions. For instance, Eastern Colorado gets 300+ days of sunshine a year... this will classify it as a Sunshine State / Region.

5. ALL homes and buildings in "sunshine regions" shall be required to install Solar Panels and energy storage. Cost of installation shall be offset by government subsidies to the solar panel manufacturers. This will drastically reduce the need for power plants, and ensure reduction in natural gas/coal/oil burning emissions. The solar power could provide 75% of all housing energy consumption, eliminating energy draws / black-outs / etc.

Taking the steps above we, as a country, reduce emissions of petroleum based fuels by at least 50-75%. We will also reduce the need for mass power distribution, allowing power share of stored personal solar energy. we will completely eliminate the need to import fuels from the middle east and south America by 2020 (not just reducing by 20-40%). It assures that we become not only energy independent from foreign governments, but greatly adds to our own personal energy independence from big power companies... as well as promising better stewardship of the land in which we live.

This is a radical shift in America, and a challenge that will rival the first moon program to implement on such a short timeline...

But it CAN be done.

In fact, I have freely given my independent ideas on this policy change to Bill Richardson and the You Tube community last week, and I offer it to you (my reader) today. If there is not movement in the congress or by a presidential candidate to adopt these radical policies, I will have to take up the fight myself!

Give the policy some thought, and please feel free to comment...

God Bless.


  1. I think you have some interesting ideas, but I do believe that we need to immediately begin drilling in ANWR otherwise you will put the system into shock. Whenever the government tries to mandate anything they tend to screw it up, so I would be reluctant to go down that road.

    My father installed solar systems for years and I do believe there is more we should be doing to promote solar, wind, geothermal and hydro-electrical resources. We are already seeing that the increase of Ethonol products is having some unintended consquences such as increases in feed corn prices, which causes increases in dairy and meat prices and a more danerous type of smog.

    I am by no means saying that we should not do anything, but we have to do this in a slow and deliberate process that brings us energy independence without sacrificing our economy, environment, or freedom. Unlike our politicians you have put a lot of effort and thought into your plan and with some tweaking it could work; less government regulation and more personal initiative.

  2. The increase in Dairy and Meat prices is also contributed to $3 - $4 per gallon gas prices... farmers can't afford that... neither can anyone else. I think a well thought out plan to implement will see a small spike in prices, but level out as Americans become more comfortable with implementing the new energy standards.

    Plus, the incorporation of Ethanol has a sole purpose of geting off Middle Eastern Oil... Once we can accomplish this, drilling offshore or ANWR or otherwise, then we can move forward with innovative transportation... all we need is the catalyst for change, and maintaining the status quo has the opposite effect.

    Inasmuch, I completely disagree with the "slow and deliberate" idea... We have been promised a slow and deliberate process to energy independence for over 30 years... but slow and deliberate doesn't work... we need radical changes, radical ideas... something to shake the base... break up the status quo... slow and steady doesnt always win the race.

    Thanks for the comment!