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The Energize America 20 point plan for a prosperous and sustainable energy future has been building attention through its development here at Daily Kos and in the time since a group of four Kossacks briefed EA2020 at Yearly Kos 2006, with Governor Richardson as a commentator on the panel with us.

What in the world, however, is anyone other than Jerome a Paris doing with Energize America in the diary title?  

Energize America bumpersticker

Well ...

We are embarking, as a team -- and, we hope, as a community, on a huge leap forward.

A senior member of Congress has approached and met with the Energize America team. We have been asked to turn many of the EA2020 Acts and concepts into draft bills for legislative action.

What in the world, however, is anyone other than Jerome a Paris doing with Energize America in the diary title?  Remember, this was a team effort last year. And, this team is now working with members of the US Congress. While Jerome remains a core part of the team, always with credit for sparking the effort, his intellectual and emotional contributions, and his tremendous leadership, it is time for Americans to start bearing the load for Energizing America toward a better tomorrow.  You will see diaries coming from many of us, as the work develops, always with "Energize America" in the title (or, perhaps, like here: RE-ENERGIZING ENERGIZE AMERICA).  Many of these will likely be by Jerome -- but they will be by others.  And, as per below, we are hoping that those who "wrote" Energize America will be joined in developing this year's concepts.

Some background ... Now, even I need to recognize that not everyone in the world has heard of Energize America (no, not possible ...). For those not familiar with Energize America (and yes, there are many, many new Kossacks since the huge bursts of activity in spring 2006), this is a 20-point action plan for turning the nation on a path toward a more prosperous and sustainable energy future.

From our FAQ section on the website -- which will (we promise) be strengthened:

  1. What is Energize America?

Energize America is a comprehensive and compelling 20-point plan developed by informed citizen activists to wean the U.S. from its fossil fuel addiction and provide the U.S. with Energy Security by 2020, and Energy Freedom by 2040.

  1. What are Energize America’s goals?

By 2020, Energize America will enable the U.S. to:

  • reduce both oil imports and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50%,
  • generate 25% of our electricity from renewable sources, and
  • create 2M new energy-related American jobs and save 1M ‘at-risk’ auto jobs.
  1. Are Energize America’s goals realistic?

Absolutely, though they will require strong political leadership, sustained strategic investment and meaningful personal commitment. Transforming the American energy base from hydrocarbons to renewables will not be easy, but our economic safety, national security and public wellbeing critically depend on this transformation. Decades of failed energy policies have left Americans dangerously vulnerable to oil supply interruptions, especially for transportation, and overly dependent upon coal for electricity, which has ravaged the environment and contributes greatly to global warming.

  1. What is unique about Energize America?

Energize America is unique by its design as well as some of its features. It is the first detailed energy plan designed by ordinary, working-class citizens and not by lobbyists or politicians. This means that the sole objective of Energize America is the protection of the American people’s economic, social and environmental interests. Some of the proposed Acts, such as the innovative Sustainable Energy Economic Prosperity Act, also do not appear to have been proposed by any of the other energy policy advocacy groups.

  1. Why is Energize America needed?

The current energy policy, drafted primarily by industry lobbyists, fails to provide strategic advantage for the U.S., and falls dangerously short in reducing life-threatening pollution levels.  The current energy plan continues to give billions of dollars of taxpayer’s money to the oil and gas industry, despite the fact that most of these companies are enjoying record profit levels that border on obscene. The current energy plan fails to acknowledge and mitigate the growing risks to our nation’s economy, national security and general welfare as a result of our fossil fuel addiction. Furthermore, the current energy plan fails to protect its citizens and the environment from the deadly and devastating effects of large-scale coal mining and burning.

  1. Why don’t we just build more nuclear plants for electricity and convert corn crops to biodiesel for oil?

There is growing interest politically in nuclear power, which generates 20% of baseload electricity today, though no new plants have been started in over 30 years due to environmental concerns, safety risks and unattractive financial returns. But the biggest obstacle to greater nuclear power may be the enormous philosophical divide in the country over its costs and benefits. Energize America seeks to inform this highly charged and often clouded debate by providing for a ‘fast track’ demonstration project that uses modern nuclear design technologies and methodologies, as well as honest and transparent documentation of total costs and benefits – including radioactive waste disposal. Energize America also calls for significant investment in biofuels, but does not favor corn (which has relatively very low energy content) over any other biofuels source (such as algae, soybean or switchgrass).

  1. How does Energize America differ from other plans being put forth by industry and special interest groups?

In terms of goals, Energize America is more ambitious than some, and more pragmatic than others, but in terms of policy specifics Energize America is more comprehensive and strategic than any we are familiar with. Some energy experts believe that energy independence is unrealistic for the U.S., yet Brazil has recently attained energy independence, and countries like Sweden and Norway are rapidly pursuing this laudable goal. Energize America lays out a clear and compelling plan to insulate the U.S. economy from oil price shocks and dwindling supplies, to dramatically and responsibly reduce GHG emissions, and to restore the U.S. industrial base through the development and manufacture of world-leading renewable energy systems.

  1. How did Energize America come about?

The Energize America concept, and team, came about through the power of the Internet. Throughout 2005, an increasing number of online users, or bloggers, gathered at the Daily Kos web site (www.dailykos.com) to discuss energy and other topical issues. The Daily Kos allows comments to be rated and contributors to be recommended, which enables the most helpful and informative posts and the most popular contributors to receive greater visibility on the site. This dynamic process can instantly tap into an amazing breadth and depth of contributors, and made for a highly informed and deeply motivated virtual community dedicated to helping the U.S. achieve Energy Freedom. Energize America was written in six major iterations from September 2005 to June 2006, and incorporates expertise and feedback from thousands of people.

  1. What is the ‘Daily Kos’?

The Daily Kos is a progressive political web site and blog that attracts well more than half a million unique visitors every day – a broader reach than some of the largest newspapers in the country. The Daily Kos, founded by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, raises money for progressive candidates, defines issues, rallies supporters, and brings scandals to light with an energy and effectiveness that few other media outlets – online or offline – have matched. The Daily Kos is a constant beehive of political activity, all day and night, and provides a pulsating forum of ideas, commentary, and analysis. Every post is open to feedback, every opinion able to be questioned, and every contributor is able to be rated by all visitors.

  1. What can I do personally?

The most important thing anyone can do is to start thinking, talking and acting seriously about America’s energy future. How much damage to the planet are we willing to inflict to extract and burn oil and coal? How vulnerable as a nation should we remain in the face of dwindling oil supplies and rapidly rising global demand? How complacent should we be as a society when our elected officials for decades have failed to put America on a firm path towards Energy Freedom?

What can we -- as a community -- do? We can work together to build a package of legislation in relation to energy issues that will be compelling, that at least some of which will part of the basis for transforming America's relationship with energy and for turning aside from the looming disasters of Global Warming's realities.  

And, with this effort, prove that the netroots not only can, but should be a meaningful part of developing legislative responses to America's challenges.

We -- the entire Energize America team -- will be calling on all of you, time and again, for reactions, thoughts, contributions to make draft legislative acts stronger.

If you are passionate about helping turn the nation toward a better, more prosperous, and more sustainable energy future, here is a true opportunity to contribute.  

We promise:

  • That our objective is help turn this nation toward a better future -- not searching for individual or group gain (financial or otherwise)
  • That every comment within our discussions we will read and we will take them seriously
  • That we will use these comments to strenghten our concepts and develop them further

But, what is it that we will be discussing? Where to start?

Energy Smart Are you doing your part to be Energy Smart?  Here's a chance to help! Are you on board? Well, the request on the table is far from unambitious. Let's state it another way -- it is REALLY AMBITIOUS but is a chance to help change the situation for the better. We are asked to develop legislative proposals (draft) bills based on the following acts:

  • Act III: The Fleets Conversion Act ("Mass Transit")
  • Act IV: The Community-Based Energy Investment Act ("Neighborhood Power")
  • Act V:  The Passenger Rail Restoration Act ("Bullet Trains")
  • Act VII: The Wind Energy Production Tax Credit Act ("Reap the Wind")
  • Act VIII: The 20 Million Solar Roofs Act ("Harness the Sun")
  • Act IX:   The Renewable Portfolio Standards Act ("Fair Everywhere")
  • Act X:    The Federal Net Metering Act ("Get on the Grid"
  • Act XI:   The State-Based Renewable Energy Demonstration Act ("Green States")
  • Act XVIII: Home Efficiency Act ("C the Light")
  • Act XIX:Demand Side Management Act ("Real Time Energy Pricing")

This is NOT a small agenda ... and there are other items on the table.

If you have experience writing legislation -- or wish to try your hand at it -- we would welcome your assistance.  

And, as we develop these items, we will put them out in diaries for discussion and reaction. We expect those reactions to come.

Now, look for "Energize America" diary titles ... they should start coming ... as we work our way through act by act.

----

See also:  Jerome a Paris' Energize America coming to Congress. You can help.

Originally posted to A Siegel on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:42 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips / Mojo -- 7 Feb 07 (44+ / 0-)

    Okay ... I begin this with trepidation ... this took over our lives last year ... and that was "just" for putting together a plan ... now ... now ... We actually have a chance to put pen to paper on things that could change people's lives.

    Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

    by A Siegel on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:41:13 PM PST

  •  this gave me my biggest smile of the day (6+ / 0-)

    and today has been a very good day indeed, with lots of smiles

    well done, you all - great news

    It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

    by cookiebear on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:50:40 PM PST

    •  Not done ... (11+ / 0-)

      You have no idea the extent of my trepidation in writing this diary ... The Rubicon has been crossed ... time to go get that 'idiot's guide to writing killer legislation' or something like that.

      Actually, it is tremendously exciting -- along with terrifying.

      By the way, I am ecstatic to be able to create a smile.

      I guess our target is to give millions reasons to smile?

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:54:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I tried writing a piece last year (8+ / 0-)

        I was heading into the section on outlawing mountaintop removal mining.  Once I started looking at the existing legislation, I was appalled at how difficult it was to read.  Not because it was full of legalisms, but because it was all just a bunch of piecemeal adjustments to previous legislation.  Things like "Section 2, paragraph 3 is amended by replacing 'like' with 'in kind.'"  It made the whole thing into kind of a linguistic jigsaw puzzle.

        Even if that's typical, I'd rather avoid it.  Just write fresh legislation to replace existing text rather than nipping and tucking our way through it.

        •  That's what I fear with online legislation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mataliandy, A Siegel

          Unless it's formatted to be readable, bills like the one you describe can make the phone book look like Hemingway.  

          I can only hope people like Obama who are trying to increase government transparency have a tech fix for this problem.  It would be a giant step forward in making our democracy accountable, and demystifying the process of legislation.  Now it's as cloistered as the inner sanctum of the Temple at Karnak.

          -4.50, -5.85 Conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls. -- Rumi

          by Dallasdoc on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:54:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Oh man, what an incredible thing. (7+ / 0-)

    Power by, for, and to the People!
    The Team Rocks!
    I've done all I can tonight, which was pimping this wonderful news in the open thread. Sweetest of dreams.

  •  I'll help (7+ / 0-)

    My own checklist...

    x Don't drive
    x Don't use heat
    x Don't use A/C
    x Turn on CFLs sparingly
    x Started composting
    x Advocate for smart growth on Daily Kos
    o Help more with Energize America
    o A ton of other stuff I need to be better at

    broo-'dye-mo-NEE-uh | I could wish my days to be / Bound each to each with natural piety - William Wordsworth

    by Brudaimonia on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:54:04 PM PST

  •  Folks - be clear in what you can do to help (8+ / 0-)

    we have much work to do in evolving this critical effort, from research to financials to editing to communications to legislative outreach.  we will continue to operate in a highly unstructured environment, with little direct 'management' and true team leadership.

    Pick an area that you can help with, if interested and avaialble, and come out and say it.  provide your email if it's not in your user profile and we will follow up.

    Adam is right, in that this effort is quite consuming.  I served as v5 editor last year (have new User ID) and it required complete focus for nearly four months, and heavy committment for nine.  Now, that type of committment is not necessarily required of each of you.  Those who are called to lead, will.  But there will be many, many opportunities where you can contribute.  Much of the work will be done off-line, with frequent diaries to be sure, but the sub-teams will need to collaborate in parallel.

    I can only say that working on EA has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my 44 years on this planet.  EA exemplifies the very best of what DKos is, and can be.  And now we have serious traction with a senior Congressional leader.  So it's time to deliver on the promise, to show the nation, the world, the doubters, the lobbbyists, the pundits and the right wing gas bags what we can truly accomplish.

  •  Nice logo, but why the incandescent bulb? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Milly Watt, Brudaimonia, A Siegel

    Wouldn't a compact fluorescent lightbulb be a more energy efficient choice for the Energize America logo?

  •  Grid Regulation (3+ / 0-)

    Act IX:   The Renewable Portfolio Standards Act ("Fair Everywhere")
    Act X:    The Federal Net Metering Act ("Get on the Grid"
    Act XVIII: Home Efficiency Act ("C the Light")
    Act XIX:Demand Side Management Act ("Real Time Energy Pricing")

    Net metering and real time pricing are incredibly important.   The grid must be a two-way street.  It also desperately needs upgrading.  I know some folks who have been thinking about the legal and regulatory changes necessary to make a renewable world for a long, long time.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2006/03/solar-video.html

    by gmoke on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:02:26 PM PST

    •  Ready to listen ... (0+ / 0-)

      .... we're hoping that you'll be engaged ...

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:03:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  what is real time pricing? (0+ / 0-)

      and net metering?

      By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with...

      by dotcommodity on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:17:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quick answers: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mataliandy, maybeeso in michigan

        Real-time pricing:  Providing smart meters/such so that your electricity is not at a flat rate, but actually goes up and down with the cost to the grid of power. Thus, per example, you might pay 3-4x as much for peak power (4 pm on a summer afternoon when everyone has their air conditioner on) compared to off-peak (3 am, when the baseload is operating with far less demand). This helps encourage people to figure out how to shift usage and thus balance the load on the grid. And, it drives conservation during peak. And, it makes solar (especially) more competitive for home owners, as the solar typically produces in the high-cost, peak periods. E.g., a KwH is not a KwH, the value varies, so too should the price.

        Net metering: A path so that a small/home generator of power (wind, solar, etc) can actually zero out their electricity bills by 'rolling back' the meter when their power system is generating more power than required, than having meter go forward when needing to draw power from the grid.

        Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

        by A Siegel on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:26:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So if someone invented a device to store (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          cheap 3am energy at your house till you need to use it, they could make a killing.

          By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with...

          by dotcommodity on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:47:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Real-time pricing vs. time-of-use (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mataliandy, danz, A Siegel

          From 1985 to 1996 in WI we had time-of-use electric rates, which seems to be a better solution to me, especially if combined with utility-controlled load-shedding (it only ended in 1996 because we moved away, but I'm not sure if the program is still offered, or offered to new customers).

          The way our time-of-use worked is we had to choose a time period for lower (off-peak) rates. We chose 6PM to 6AM - the other choices were for 12 hr periods starting a 5PM or 7PM, I believe. So from 6PM to 6AM, plus all day Saturday, Sunday and all holidays, we paid half the normal electricity rate. All other times our electricity rate was double.

          Even though we were home during the day (work at home), we had passive solar and wood heat, lots of natural light, and we had two water heaters (for capacity) that were on timers to only operate during off-peak.

          There are several reasons I like that better. First, it fits the utility demand curve pretty well, so it's very close to what real-time pricing would be. Second, it allows the customer to know in advance when to schedule high-usage activities (heat, water-heating, cooking, laundry, clothes drying, TV) - especially for people who aren't home during the day.

          Third, the utility installs a spiffy microprocessor-controlled meter with a digital display, and the meter reader (when not read remotely) has a special gun for reading the meter. Besides being cool, the technology already exists.

          The place where this doesn't help enough is summer peaks for A/C. They still occur in the peak rate window, but don't guarantee a reduction in demand (neither would real-time - use would just cost more). Load-shedding is where the utility installs a control on your water-heater, A/C and perhaps other high usage items (refrigerator, freezer, whatever). They send out a signal over the utility lines to operate the control - when demand is high, they can turn off things like water-heaters or A/C on a rotating basis (kind of like brownouts) to lighten their load. Usually the utility pays for the control and insulation, and gives you a written contract that tells you how they'll use it, and that they won't disconnect those items for long periods or at odd times.

          We didn't sign up for that (although it would have saved us even more) because the utility didn't want the controls installed along with our timers for whatever reason (and we never heated water on peak and never had A/C at all).

          In all, we were able to cut our bill to about 40-50% of what normal rates would have cost us, with no inconvenience.

          There is no more New Frontier - we have got to make it here - Henley/Frey

          by badger on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:54:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Our net metering agreement with TVA and our local (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        electric co--op gives us 15 cents for every kilowatt hr produced by our 40 PV panels and charges us 8 cents for every kwh used.

        It's great! tied into the grid tho - so if it goes down so does our elec - we would have to retrofit for battery backup - but so long as the grid is working this is great - clean and hassle free.

        "Buy a Boat. Save the Seed."

        by cumberland sibyl on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 02:59:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent! But one question re 25% renewable elec (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mataliandy, A Siegel

    How was the goal of

    • generate 25% of our electricity from renewable sources

    reached? It's a fairly feeble percentage compared to the amount from renewable sources already achieved in 2007 in many other nations. I realise turning away from the embarrasingly high reliance on coal for electricity in the U.S. will take time and effort, but to only aim for 25% by 2020 was a bit of a shock for me.

    •  I agree. (4+ / 0-)

      Aim high. Assume we will switch all daytime electricity generation to solar and wind, keep the current coalfired electricity only for nights and low-wind periods.

      And then figure out how to do that.

      By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with...

      by dotcommodity on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:20:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How about... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Plan9, A Siegel

        Instead of keeping the coal capacity, why don't we replace it with nuclear capacity?

        It works just as well, if not better, and has the added bonus of of being a non-polluting source.  That's right, non-polluting, look up the definition of the word pollution if you disagree with me.

        •  Nukes? This will start a fight . . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Plan9, A Siegel

          How to stop the fight:

          We don't need wind/solar/conservation OR nukes -- we need wind/solar/conservation AND nukes. The amount of coal to be replaced is ENORMOUS.

          -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

          by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 05:41:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It needs to be said. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm tired of nuclear energy being left on the wayside by programs like the topic of this blog.  It is an opportunity everyone would be stupid to pass up.

            •  You've been reading NNadir, I presume? n/t (0+ / 0-)

              -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

              by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:30:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The Energize America plan includes ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... provision for a pilot plant of a touted "safe" nuclear power plant design, with full-costing included in the review of the performance of the design.

              My concern is the second ... its easy for something to look like a good deal when it has extensive subsidies hidden away in liability capping and other entrenched measures passed a long time ago in support of the industry.

              But in terms of renewable energy resource, the US clearly doesn't need nuclear power to get substantial reductions in carbon emissions, so we can afford to be more choosy about nuclear power than some more densely settled nations.

              •  the problem with nuclear (0+ / 0-)

                is the more countries have "safe" nuke power programs like Iran, the more warmongering we get frettin about them  and there is no end to the trials and tribulations of it all. There is no way to separate "peacefull " purposes from war purposes

                By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with...

                by dotcommodity on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:36:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  And a corrollary advantage of pushing ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  A Siegel, dotcommodity

                  ... windpower, solar power and biomass power is that we can celebrate rather than agonize over "proliferation" of that technology.

                  •  Great concept / line ... (0+ / 0-)

                    thank you.

                    Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

                    by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 11:58:13 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  You can make atomic bomb without nuclear power (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    A Siegel

                    It is time to get real about nuclear power.  It is the biggest mitigator of greenhouse gases in N. America.  If you shut down ALL of the nuclear plants, greenhouse gases will increase by 20% or more, because renewables do not yet have the technology to replace large-scale baseload electricity production.  

                    Without nuclear you will inevitably have an upsurge in coal combustion.

                    Germany has already shut down one nuclear plant and wants to shut down more (the Green party agenda) and instead is building 8 new coal-fired plants.  They do not control their carbon.  Germany loves wind power but of course has to have a backup system, as does Denmark. These two countries are high per capita carbon polluters as compared to France, Switzerland, and Sweden--which get their power from nuclear and hydro.

                    Furthermore, if you shut down ALL the nuclear plants in the world, any country really wanting to make nuclear weapons can do so without a reactor. All you need is an enrichment plant to separate out the U-235, usually with centrifuges. This is not a simple task. Tricky to make and operate centrifuge technology.

                    That's really the argument about Iran.  The Iranians keep insisting that they will do their own enrichment rather than importing low-enriched fuel (yes, power reactor fuel is enriched only to about 4% U-235; weapons-grade is enriched to over 90%).  If they would just let Russia control the fuel cycle, there would be no problem about their having nuclear power plants.  And it would be better as far as GHG are concerned if Iran burned less fossil fuel and used nuclear instead.

                    "Well, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in." --General Jack Turgidson

                    by Plan9 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 02:26:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This was appropos of what, exactly? (0+ / 0-)

                      I missed the part of the EA2020 plan that calls for shutting down all nuclear power plants immediately.

                      •  Just making a point (0+ / 0-)

                        ... about how proliferation has become uncoupled from nuclear power production.  Even taking the most extreme action to expunge all nuclear power plants from existence would not prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.  

                        The secret of the atomic bomb is knowing that one can be made.  Once people know that, and are really determined, sooner or later they can make one.  That genie is not going back into the bottle.

                        About 25 countries that have nuclear power also know how to make a bomb but choose not to.

                        Not referring to EA2020 at all.  Just to the idea that nuclear power is bad because atomic bombs are bad.

                        "Well, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in." --General Jack Turgidson

                        by Plan9 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 04:29:02 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  My original comment indicated that ... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          A Siegel, dotcommodity

                          ... nuclear power is bad if it has extremely high costs covered up through explicit and implicit subsidies ...

                          ... but the proliferation of nuclear energy technology to a country like, say, Zimbabwe quite frankly makes me nervous. Leaving the question of nuclear weapons proliferation, the most serious nuclear power accident was Chernobyl ... and I have serious doubts as to the industrial quality control that a Zimbabwe would  deploy for nuclear power.

                          And that is the issue I was pointing to above ... one of the reasons that the US has to start leading the way on deployment of sustainable energy systems is that low income nations will then be both more inclined and more able to deploy them as well.

                          I am not able to imagine people getting distraught because, eg. the Congo has Wind Generators. The harder it is to excuse being exclusionary with our technology, the better off we are as a globe.

                          •  I emphatically agree with you: (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            A Siegel, dotcommodity

                            one of the reasons that the US has to start leading the way on deployment of sustainable energy systems is that low income nations will then be both more inclined and more able to deploy them as well.

                            Wind and solar projects and methane capture from livestock for poor countries can and are already making a big difference.  We should have an Energy Corps to accompany the Peace Corps to spread around renewable technologies

                            The US is not Zimbabwe and leads the world in GHG pollution. So expansion of nuclear power here and in other heavily industrialized fossil-fuel burning countries would be a good idea.

                            "Well, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in." --General Jack Turgidson

                            by Plan9 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 05:36:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Since the US has more renewable energy ... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Plan9, A Siegel

                            ... resource than the global average, we have a tremendous opportunity that a lot of countries do not have.

                            The US leads the world in GHG pollution, and can therefore make tremendous contribution directly and provide the market to provide both scale and learning curve economies for the production of electricity from wind, solar and biomass.

                            And the more focus we place on those, the more indirect impact we have on other nations reducing their GHG emissions as well.

                            My basic preference is for sustainable power sources and power demand reduction first, non-sustainable non-fossil fuel energy second, and non-sustainable fossil fuel energy last.

                            Certainly, with the severity of the threat from the climate crisis, many high income nations will be forced to increase their reliance on nuclear power in the medium term to bridge the gap between non-sustainable fossil fuels to sustainable power sources. I just have not seen any strong evidence that the US is in that boat.

                          •  Strong evidence (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            A Siegel, GrySovCob

                            I just have not seen any strong evidence that the US is in that boat.

                            And,much as I wish it were otherwise, I have not yet seen any strong evidence that, despite considerable subsidies from the private and public sectors, wind and solar are going to be able to contribute more than a tiny fraction to the grid for many, many years. Thirty years ago they were at less than 1% and today the same.

                            It's clear that wind farm entrepreneurs are going to have to go through hoops in terms of environmental impact statements and PR campaigns to persuade neighbors of such projects in order for them to be established on anything like the magnitude that would be required to replace fossil fuels.  Jerome a Paris has noted that wind farms and nuclear plants are required to prove themselves in a way that other  electricity generation methods, including coal-fired plants, are not.

                            If renewables fail to deliver on their promise (which has more or less been the case for thirty years, though certainly the numbers are getting better every year, and more ingenious solutions are appearing), then increased electricity demand will be met by fossil fuel plants.

                            And Big Coal is ready, envisioning 300 new plants.  About 150 are already in the planning stage.  Bush's latest budget gives coal far more subsidies than renewables, which in turn receive far more than nuclear power.  

                            This is why it is important to support both renewables R&D, and in particular storage technology, as well as an expansion of nuclear power.

                            We have to stop thinking in either-or terms.  Nobody I know in the nuclear world is opposed to wind and solar. They just think that, given present technology, they are limited.  

                            The people with the most realistic approach seem to me those who are in favor of a spectrum of solutions to mitigating carbon.  Scientists at national labs that have contributed serious research to both technologies think that for large-scale GHG mitigation and replacement of fossil fuels, nuclear power makes the most sense, with renewables filling in where they can. So do the Apollo Alliance guys.  So do Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy, an international organization based in Europe.  

                            Meanwhile, conservation, a finite resource, can also be further exploited.  But I don't think people are going to cut back on electricity usage very much.  Our society is relying more on electricity for more different uses than it ever has before.

                            And in countries without electricity, the average lifespan is 43 years. Even a few watts a week extends that lifespan--which is where wind and solar in the third world play such an important role. I don't think we have the right to tell those 1 billion people without electricity that they can't enjoy the same abundance we do.

                            "Well, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in." --General Jack Turgidson

                            by Plan9 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:14:54 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Renewable resources are on track with nuclear ... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            A Siegel

                            ... in terms of what they are providing the same number of years into their commercial development track.

                            And,much as I wish it were otherwise, I have not yet seen any strong evidence that, despite considerable subsidies from the private and public sectors, wind and solar are going to be able to contribute more than a tiny fraction to the grid for many, many years.

                            It is important, however, to recognize that the ongoing nuclear subsidies are entrenched in legislation and ongoing direct services provided by the US government, and have been ongoing since the 1950's.

                            The subsidies for wind and solar, on the other hand, have been an off and on matter. And countries, such as Germany, that offer utilities a package of subsidies that are closer to the package offered to nuclear power in terms of predictability and magnitude have seen growth rates in excess of 25% ... sometimes in excess of 40% ... all of the whole of the current decade.

                            And the US has more and better wind resources, all up. And the US also has the greatest energy gluttony in the world.

                            And for solar, much of the investment in research and development has been tagging along with the military industrial complex in providing power in orbit, which means that the most promising utility-scale terrestrial technologies are precisely those that receive the smallest share of the federal solar research pie.

                            And of course the most approprate basic technologies for using solar power in much of the country involve solar heating and cooling by design, to reduce the heating and especially cooling load on the grid ... which is the facet of renewable energy harvesting that is undermined the most seriously by the on-again, off-again and piecemeal approach to harvesting renewable energy.

                            Now, that side of the harvest of renewable energy requires ongoing incremental roll-out ... which means that it is well suited to the task of holding the line on growth in electricy consumption, while over 20 years it is within the range of growth rates that other countries are presently achieving and the size of the US resource to see 30% of our electricity from wind, 10% from solar, and 10% from biomass conversion.

                          •  I briefly sold windpower to businesses (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            A Siegel, BruceMcF

                            for a wind company up in Truckee, but then the subsidies or the certification was pulled. It seemed VERY tenuous politically with a huge amount of red tape controlling an essentially simple business with enormous demand.

                            I couldn't understand it at the time: was merely frustrated as a salesperson. Now I am more politically aware (!)

                            This was right around the time Enron was messing with California 2000 2001. The demand among virtually every business I approached, from mom n pop groceries to big supermarkets to switch their supply from PG & E to buy direct from wind producers, but shipped along the same transmission lines, was phenomenal!

                            By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with...

                            by dotcommodity on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 10:21:27 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so to agree with Bruce: A Siegal: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            A Siegel

                            Important that this time we legislate that these subsidies can not go on and off unexpectedly like last time. Build in a guarantee for consistency and permanence.

                            By the time the oceans take Manhattan it will be over with...

                            by dotcommodity on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 10:24:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Plan9

                  There is a very clear and distinct line between Iran's nuclear power program and Iran's nuclear weapons program.

                  Busher, their VVER designs cannot be used for weapons grade plutonium.  I won't go into details but it simply can't happen.

                  Arak, which is a heavy water design, has virtually no other purpose than the production of weapons grade plutonium ultimately.  It's power output is far too low and Iran already has the infrastructure to support proliferation resistant light water reactors.

                  Natanz is an interesting beast, while in theory it can be used for fuel purposes, its design and its massive size say otherwise.

                  In conclusion, there is a vast difference between countries using nuclear power for purely civilian uses and places like Iran and others.

              •  If full transparency about costs... (0+ / 0-)

                is what they really want, then why in the same proposal is there a provision for wind and solar power to receive further tax subsidies?  I've said it a hundred times but people need to know:  Nuclear power is the ONLY energy source which does not benefit from a production subsidy.  It's subsidies are entirely on the investment capital end, and given the demonstrated longevity of current reactor designs, the annualized subsidy due to that is very small.

                I don't buy the argument that liability capping is a "subsidy", especially if you know the history of the nuclear industry.

                First of all, in order for that money to be accessed an accident must occur.  This does not happen often, if at all, thus the nuclear industry doesn't benefit from it on an annual basis, unlike a production subsidy or tax credit.  Additionally, nuclear companies would suffer enormous losses if such a thing like that happens, based on history, so there is no incentive whatsoever to allow an accident.

                Secondly, investors won't invest in nuclear energy because they are scared.  Not due to the technology, but rather because the US government nearly tore the whole industry down in the past.  When Carter banned reprocessing several companies went bankrupt due to just having built brand new reprocessing facilities which they had to immediately dismantle.  So due to this intense government mistrust investors need guarantees that they won't lose everything because it becomes fashionable to shut down the nuclear industry again.

            •  Pelosi on nuclear energy (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              A Siegel

              In today's hearing on global warming, the following exchange took place:

              Akin: If you believe burning hydrocarbons are at fault for global warming, are you willing to support nuclear?

              Pelosi: I was an early opponent, but I'm open to it now. "If not this, then what?"

              "Well, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in." --General Jack Turgidson

              by Plan9 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 02:13:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  As you are aware ... (0+ / 0-)

                I believe that nuclear power is part (PART) of the solution path for eliminating the worst GWE (global warming emissions) from electricity.

                But, let us not fool ourselves:

                • Nuclear power has a long lead time before production -- when is next new power plant likely to be on line in the United States?
                • There is a long lead time before nuclear power 'catches up' with the GWE required to build the plants. There is 'upfront' pollution that is not balanced out for an extended period
                • Uranium mining is not exactly a 'clean' activity

                Now, again, I believe that nuclear is part of a portfolio approach to eliminate coal (especially) and natural gas from electricity ASAP:

                • Energy efficiency -- 20+% reduction in US use at 4 cents (or less) per KwH
                • New renewable power by 2020:  20+% of current US electricity

                Above just eliminated perhaps 70-80% of coal-based eletricity requirements. And, they might be pessimistic in what can be achieved.

                But, I want a major increase in electricity use:  PHEVs.

                Thus, quite possible that nuclear power increase required -- as part of a holistic solution -- to eliminate fossil fuels from our electrical generation system and to help (greatly) reduce transportation requirements for fossil fuels.

                I just don't believe in any silver bullet solution -- whether renewable, efficiency, nuclear, etc ... Lots of silver pellets, no silver bullet.

                Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

                by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 03:08:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agree on the silver pellets approach (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  A Siegel

                  You speak as if there were no solution to the following points:  

                   

                  •  Nuclear power has a long lead time before production -- when is next new power plant likely to be on line in the United States?

                  The answer to that is a political one, not a technical one.

                  Historically the siting and approval process for a new nuclear plant has taken a long time, with the NRC suggesting design changes even as the plant was under construction.  

                  Approval of new plants could also be streamlined if the federal budget would include money for NRC, which gets most of its money from licensing fees, to increase its staff of nuclear engineers who evaluate licensing applications.  The NRC has now streamlined the construction phase and expects any new plant to be completed in five years.  The old way of contracting for construction involved a very expensive mode:  cost-plus.  No incentive for contractors to work according to schedule and budget.

                  NRC now holds that a new plant could be built in 5 years  and for about $1.5 billion.  What is likeliest in the near term is that existing nuclear plants will add new reactors.  A poll of over a thousand people living within ten miles of several different plants indicated that over 80% of that population favored expansion of nuclear plants or new ones being built.

                     * There is a long lead time before nuclear power 'catches up' with the GWE required to build the plants. There is 'upfront' pollution that is not balanced out for an extended period

                  The average US nuclear plant operates at over 90% efficiency.  In the past few decades existing plants have ramped up their efficiency by about 30%.
                  The comprehensive life cycle of nuclear power produces as much carbon as that of wind power. Wind power operates at about 30% efficiency.  Surely the coal combustion required to make all the concrete and steel for enough wind farms to generate the equivalent of a nuclear plant's 1,000 megawatts also produces pollution.

                  Oconee, a nuclear plant that opened in SC in the 1990s, took 8 years to earn back its construction costs.  Now it is supplying clean energy at a price per kWh that is cheaper than coal to about 1 million people.
                     

                  • Uranium mining is not exactly a 'clean' activity

                  It looks like uranium mining, virtually dormant in the US, is making a comeback and will rely mainly on solution mining.  This is a clean technology and, if monitored according to EPA regs, ensures safety of the water table.  And there is no radon exposure to miners, no tailings. After uranium is pumped out of the ground the site is returned to its natural state and the water also.

                  Historically uranium mining, like other hard-rock mining, was not clean because it was not regulated as it is today.  There were virtually no mine-safety regulations requiring ventilation of the mines to avoid radon exposure, for example.  In the 1970s, when mines began to be ventilated, lung cancer rates of miners dropped to the level of the general population.

                  In any case, half of the uranium we are using in our nuclear plants comes from dismantled Soviet warheads.  Turning weapons into greenhouse-gas-free electricity is pretty cool, I think.

                  None of the objections you raise requires some future invention, some magical breakthrough technology.  It is all doable right now.  The hindrances are ideological and political, not technical.

                  Where do we get the hydrogen for fuel cells on a large scale if not from nuclear?

                  BTW subsidies for nuclear power R&D have been much smaller than for renewables R&D in recent years.

                  "Well, I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in." --General Jack Turgidson

                  by Plan9 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 03:40:11 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Actually ... (0+ / 0-)

                    Long lead time ... right now, wind can be two years between concept and production.  

                    There has not been approval of a new plant in the US for over 30 years. The NRC is ramping up to be able to handle new approvals.  Do you seriously expect, let us say, many plants approve before the early 2010s?

                    And, I agree that modern construction processes can make these happen in five years. But, all told, how many new plants do you see on line in a 'reasonable' scenario in a decade?  More than a handful would be a shockingly aggressive strategy.

                    If we take payback on construction as a surrogate for EROEI and true production of 'non-carbon' energy, then the EROEI breakeven for these plants would not be until the mid 2020s.

                    Again, I am not against nuclear power, per se, but wish to place it in perspective.

                    Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

                    by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:06:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  How much in Terawatts. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel

            The problem is that I keep seeing wind resource described in terms of TeraWatts, because it is originally generated as electricity, and coal as BTU's, because it is heat converted to electricity (with substantial losses along the way).

            How many Terawatts of electricity are generated by coal?

      •  How about we let the wind generators run ... (3+ / 0-)

        ... even when the sun goes down? Sounds like a plan?

        More seriously, how about keeping the cleaner burning of the coal-fired plants for biomass electricity when it is required to top up wind and solar, until we can transition to direct carbon fuel cells for that task.

    •  Couple things ... (4+ / 0-)

      Targets were a major source of debate last year.

      And, since I was in more aggressive camp, somewhat unfair for me.

      But, believe one could say:

      • Target ambitious, but achievable
      • 25% renewable by 2020, but on a rapid upward growth cycle
      • Get the legislation moving and as success occurs, reinforce success, so as to exceed the goals

      But, re coal, we could cut US electricity use by perhaps 20-40% at low (under 4 cents KwH) via "negawatts" (e.g. efficiency).  That sort of efficiency growth combined with renewables could drive coal out of the market space.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:29:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  with respect to "The Home Efficiency Act" (5+ / 0-)

    I like the ideas and appreciate tha amount of work that went into Energize America.

    The biggest problem I have with this in general is that there's way too much orientation towards voluntary compliance.

    The latest IPCC findings suggest to me that depending on voluntary compliance is a good idea, if the goal is to create new Rocky Mountain oceanfront property. We're going to have to find ways to push the process.

    I think nobody's going to argue either that there is no way to mitigate global warming without causing pain to . . . almost everybody. Or that the sooner we get started, the less overall pain there's going to be.

    The good news about this. . . lots and lots of jobs.

    This is all I had time tonight to review in any detail...

    Act 17 (5+ / 0-)

    Act XVII:  Home Efficiency Act ("C the Light")

    Objectives
    To provide incentives for homeowners and landlords to make their dwellings more energy efficient, and
    to create broad public support for energy efficiency by delivering tangible short-term benefits.

    Description
    [snip]

    You are aware that the CA State Legislature is considering a mandatory phaseout of incandescent light bulbs, right?

    I'd like to see a Federal law saying that "light bulbs that do not meet the _____ energy efficiency standard can not be sold in the USA unless the user can demonstrate needs (e.g. medical / scientific / business) that can only be met by non-complying lighting devices. Such consent shall not be withheld unreasonably." (and would be obtained by filling out a simple form)

    At this point, I'd base _____ on current CFL with a provision for revisiting standards every 5 years. I recommend mandating standards instead of specific technologies because technology changes, and last year's greenest light source might not be next year's.

    There's a lab-stage incandescent-fluorescent hybrid (phosphors translate the IR which is normally wasted heat) that might ultimately be both more efficient and less resource-intensive than CFLs. I want manufacturers who have that sort of thing in their lab to break it out and start making it.

    This might be a good "point" law, something that's understandable and will make an obvious difference.

    The Home Efficiency Act will also provide a tax credit up to 50% of the cost of energy-related upgrades, based on geographically-specific standards.  Examples of qualified repairs and upgrades include:

    a) Insulation (50% tax credit),
    b) weather-stripping (50% tax credit) and
    c) energy-efficient windows (25% tax credit).

    I think we need to look at energy efficiency standards for homes and commercial construction. . . amended into the National Building Code in as technology-neutral a way as possible. Though the above as an interim measure is certainly better than nothing. The problem with interim is "there's nothing as permanent as a temporary measure". If we don't ask for 'enough' with respect to trying to fix the problem, we're likely to run into trouble with legislators who will say "we've dealt with the problem" despite evidence otherwise.

    The Energy Star House standard might be a starting point. A well-known public figure just got one, his name is John Edwards.

    In addition, the Home Efficiency Act will formalize the procedures allowing energy projects that help lower the energy consumption of Americans under the Community-Based Energy Investment Act to share the benefits of such savings fairly between the homeowner and the program investor.  Homes purchased with FHA or FmHA loans will be required to meet increasing energy efficiency standards.  Low cost loans will be provided through these agencies to help finance necessary upgrades, ensuring that the lower economic end of the home-buying spectrum will not be disadvantaged through homes that are cheaper to buy but costly to heat and cool.  

    What about apartments?

    Mortgage lenders will be required to include likely utility costs in the calculation of housing affordability, and to share this information with prospective home buyers.

    Excellent idea. Though a homeowner who sees one set of utility cost numbers is likely to take these as typical or best case. Would it be possible to compare against a reference Energy Star Home of comparable square footage?

    Benefits
    By 2020, the Home Efficiency Act can reduce energy consumption in the residential sector by 20%. Furthermore, this act will ensure that the monthly costs for heating, cooling and lighting residential dwellings are minimized.

    I think the Overton Window is moving, and that doing better than 20% is not only possible, but necessary.

    I'd like to see the direct-view CRT computer monitor and TV banned via energy effficiency standards conventional CRT technology can't meet (there are alternate CRT technologies that might), but don't know if the context of the "Home Efficiency Act" is the right place to discuss it.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 12:09:13 AM PST

    •  I've also thought about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      A Siegel, hypersphere01

      mandating future compliance with energy-efficient building codes for residential and commercial structures, with not only a tax credit, but Federally guaranteed low-interest loans and perhaps other subsidies for low-income / fixed income homeowners and providers of low-income housing.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 12:39:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent thoughts and concepts ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hypersphere01

      As per normal from you.

      We need to push things into the building codes. We cannot 'leave renters behind'.  

      Actually, I am concerned about overly aggressive tax credits. There is a HUGE potential expense associated with this. (Though, if there is a Global Warming Impact Fee, there could be a funding stream to compensate for this.)

      Agree totally about Overton Window shifting. We (us ... US) are in a different place now than a year ago. That enables a more aggressive approach.

      Re the California bill, see my Incandescent Light Bulbs: To Ban or Not to Ban, That is NOW the Question.  This is not my first diary re lightbulbs ... what is interesting is that this seems to be just behind a gas tax in terms of controversy.

      Some reactions ... your posting merits closer reading.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 04:18:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Alternative to tax credits: the rate base. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard, danz, A Siegel, hypersphere01

        Instead of targeting the individual homeowner, we could target financial incentives for conservation (and green generation) at the power generators. Currently (in most states) Big Power can charge customers for its costs invested in generating plants, but not for costs invested in providing insulation or CFLs or solar panels or whatever to the homes of its customers.

        Think what would happen if the law allowed utilities to figure into their "rate base" 98% of new conventional-generation costs and 102% of conservation or green-generation costs. Georgia Power would have a team knocking at my door tomorrow morning, ready to unload my new high-efficiency windows from their truck.

        This would obviate the initial-investment disincentive. I might be reluctant to invest in new insulation or solar panels with a 10-year payback period because I think I might sell the house in 3 years. Georgia Power has no such worries -- they will reap the financial benefit (rate base credit) regardless of who owns the house.

        This would also obviate the ignorant-homeowner problem. Instead of trying to educate and inform every self-absorbed yahoo and 80-year-old who doesn't even own a computer, you just have to educate the utility.

        And here's the great thing: utility rates wouldn't even go up (or would go up only a tiny bit with the 102% rate). Georgia Power is going to spend that money and get it figured into the rate base one way or another. Might as well steer it into conservation and green generation, and away from another coal plant.

        -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

        by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 05:18:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Profit De-Coupling quite important (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          in my opinion ... but not sure that we are working with clean sweep.

          Majorly in agreement with exception that one can structure this so that homeowners payments could go down slightly.

          Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

          by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 05:35:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey, here's a related idea. (0+ / 0-)

            Just allow the big utilities to charge a bigger markup on green power.

            Suppose Georgia Power has a coal plant that generates at a cost of 4 cents per kw/h and a biomass plant that generates at 6 cents per kw/h. Allow them to charge a markup of 2 cents per kw/h on the coal and 2.2 cents per kw/h on the biomass.

            The figures may be off, but that's the general idea.

            -4.25, -4.87 "If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence." -- Cicero

            by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 05:57:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  if I understand HeyMikey's idea correctly (0+ / 0-)

            the homeowner savings would come straight off her utility bill as the utility-installed energy efficiency improvements reduce energy consumption.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 03:19:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hey Mikey! (0+ / 0-)

          I like it!

          However, educating the folks who run my utility will be the same: it's an REMC and the decision making folks are locals with the same education needs.

          Unfortunately, they are constrained by Federal rules that have the same kind of inertia.  I've wanted to get involved with the REMC for years.  Now may be the best of all possible times to do so.

          danz

    •  20% reduction IS modest on home heating/cooling (0+ / 0-)

      While houses built in the past 10 years may be difficult to reduce that much, it should be easy in older houses.  

      We've dropped natural gas consumption for heating our 50 year old house by nearly 50% in 5 years.

      I'm pretty sure I could find another 20% off current consumption (10% of the 2001-2002 base).

      Drunk frat boy drives country into "El" pillar--runs away before dad takes keys.

      by Bronx59 on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 04:46:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's why I talk about mandatory retrofitting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        in the first response to my post.

        What I'd REALLY like to see is a cheap manufacturing process for Astrolite, which is for practical purposes, a perfect insulator . . . and priced out of the ballpark for commercial / residential construction.

        It's good enough that it would result in a "new ball game" for building climate control.

        But that's a specific R&D program, not something one could reasonably write a bill to mandate.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:46:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  errata (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          "Astrolite" should have been Aerogel... and the two are NOT interchangable, Aerogel is the super-insulator.

          "Astrolite" is a high explosive, which has no particularly interesting insulating qualities that I know of.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 01:18:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Aw, dang it, I almost missed this ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    ... just because some looney who calls Barbara Walters an anti-catholic bigot attacked the Edwards campaign while Edwards was halfway across the country.

    This is why I sometimes get annoyed by blogysteria.

  •  Sign me up (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    I went over to the EA2020 site to sign up. Sent an email, which appeared to be the only way to contact you.

    Suggestion - make it easy for volunteers to enroll - maybe a form on the EA2020 site. Or let me know how better to sign up in a reply to this comment.

    In any case, kudos to the EA team, congratulations on making an impact on Congress, and warmest thanks for the valuable work you are doing.

  •  Apollo Alliance? RMI? Let's not reinvent wheel! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    There are already two up-and-running, respected clean energy organizations that we should coordinate with on any legislation introduced in Congress:
    The Apollo Alliance
    and
    The Rocky Mountain Institute

    Check out their sites -- and start collaborating!

    •  Actually ... (0+ / 0-)
      1.  RMI was a major influencer for many of our developed concepts. (Such as Act I's FeeBate.)  We are in regular contact with RMI staff (including one who blogs on Daily Kos ...).  
      1.  Apollo Alliance is a high-value activity -- in many ways.  And, there is legislative activity associated with it.  I have not had lead in dealing with them, others within EA2020.  There are -- I would assert -- tremendous things in Apollo Alliance that are not in EA2020 (such as agricultural, land-use issues, smart growth) while there are aspects of EA2020 that should, IMHO, be part of any future energy policy.  

      Finally, I don't think that we are 'it' when it comes to energy solution paths.  But, we have been asked by a member of Congress to help develop concepts that can be used as part of legislation to help create a better future for us (US) all.  And, several of those areas are 'unique' to EA2020's approaches.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 03:12:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Best news of this year candidate (0+ / 0-)

    Salt River Project (an AZ power co.) announced that it would not try to reopen the now-mothballed Mohave Power Plant in the Laughlin, NV area.  Several issues were involved, included the US government permitting a flawed EIS that would have enabled the continued use of pristine desert water from under the Navajo Nation to SLURRY coal the power plant.

    Ding, dong, the witch is dead.  Which old witch?  The Wicked Witch!

    Poor Peabody Coal.  Soon their billion dollar lawsuit liability will exit the appeals courts and become payable to the Navajo and Hopi tribes.

    Meanwhile, several groups, like the Black Mesa Trust, Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Trust, and others are calling for a renewable energy project on Black Mesa.  Solar cells and windmills may soon dot the barren, "reclaimed" hills that were once gouged by giant shovels.

    Too tired for links.

    "This is not a political problem, it's a social problem." -Deacon

    by jcrit on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:01:51 PM PST

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