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?
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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.