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This is a follow up on A Siegel's earlier diary on this last night: Re Energizing ... ENERGIZE AMERICA ... which deserved more attention than it garnered.

To put it simply: a senior member of Congress has approached and met with several members (kossacks) of the Energize America team.

We have been asked to turn many of the EA2020 Acts and concepts into draft bills for legislative action.

This is a call to kossacks that are interested in shaping legislation.

For those of you that are not familiar with Energize America, it is the energy plan which was collectively drafted by kossacks over the past year and a half, and was presented publicly during the YearlyKos convention. The diaries during which policy proposals were proposed, discussed and evaluated publicly are as follows:

The full text of EA2020 and the presentation at YK can be downloaded from the EA2020 website.

Since the last version was drafted, there have been a number of conversations with Congresspersons or candidates on the topic of EA, and various discussions on how to bring it to a new level by further improving it and, more importantly, getting it publicized.

That work has borne some fruit as Adam's diary attests, and we are now about to enter a whole new phase.

We need volunteers!

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.  

Our hope is that a good chunk of the work can be done on dailykos, via diaries that allow the whole community to made suggestions and to comment on proposals. We have access to a unique breadth of competences, and now is the time to put them to work for the better good of all.

There will be a lot of work in addition to what happens on dKos, so I'd like to make a call for two kind of contributions:

  • active volunteers
  • specific information input via DailyKos

Active volunteers

We need more people to help us work on the content of Energize America, to draft actual legislative proposals, and to help distribute this to a wider audience.

This might very well be a quasi-full time second job (in fact, the main reason why EA has slowed down after version 5 was that it was a huge amount of work for the core team of volunteers, and it could not be sustained indefinitely as Real Life reasserted its rights...). So we need people that will have time to commit to the project, and will be able to take the initiative - thus a bais understanding of energy issues is probably a requisite, even as new competences are needed (editing, IT, modelling, PR, relations with politicians etc....)

If you'd like to help, but cannot commit so much effort, the best is probably to keep a lookout for EA diaries and provide your input in the conversations there - or whenever there will be calls for specialised competences on a case by case basis.

specific information input

We're going to re-start regular diaries, broaching various topics, and we'll be asking fo feedback, ideas, contributions, critiques, etc... The more comments and ratings we get, the better we can use the input of the community. Just helping us keep the diaries visible counts.

My first question today, which will be repeated, will be as follows:

Can you tell us if your Congressperson or local politicians are aware of Energize America?


  • have you ever sent the plan or a link to them?
  • have they commented in any way?
  • have they endorsed it?
  • do they talk strongly and regularly about energy?
  • would you be willing/able to ask them to take a public stand on Energize America? (An acknowledgement, an endorsement, more)

We have a number of references in our "database", including explicit endorsements, but would like to create a critical mass of support, both for the content of EA, and for its method (grassroots policy making).

All help will be appreciated.

Originally posted to Jerome a Paris on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:15 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar - 8 February (118+ / 0-)
    •  An obvious point (20+ / 0-)

      is that, while I'll be happy to support the process as much as I can, and give it visibility here on dKos, it's going to be increasingly hard for me to participate if things turn to the political scene - as a foreigner, it is really not my place to intervene directly in legislation drafting.

      I'm honored to have the influence I have already thanks to you guys's amazing welcome here on dKos, but I intend to be careful never to overstep that hospitality.

      Which means that you guys have to pitch in, too!

      •  Funding for Energize America (6+ / 0-)

        So where is the funding source for the needed research and subsidies to get the renewable energy industry started?

        Let's look at the big pot of money to see where some might be found.  The War Department alone is budgeted for $626 Billion next year, $1.7 Billion per day.  How about setting aside just two weeks of War Department funding?  That would yield $23.8 Billion to get the Energize America project started.

        President Bush’s fiscal year 2008 (FY 08) Pentagon budget seeks $624.6 billion, not including additional national defense costs for the Department of Energy and other federal agencies (an additional $22.6 billion). Moreover, a comprehensive calculation might also include the costs of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of State (add another $159.1 billion).  Combining all national security related costs would total $802.9 billion for FY 08.

        The Pentagon’s budget alone calculates to $1.7 billion per day for 2008.  It’s highly probable that our enemies in Iraq do not spend that amount in an entire year, and yet we are losing this war.

        Check out the CDI's numbers, they show that funding the Energize America initiative is possible without cutting any domestic spending, we just need to cut back the War Department funds.  Without these cutbacks, the US is in a permanent deficit spending mode, exactly what the Bushco Billionaires want since they are grabbing all the money in their endless greed.  Who gets the War Spending?  Halliburton, Lock-Mart, etc.

        •  yeah, good luck with that. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel, means are the ends

          I had thought that funding for a lot of this was discussed in the Energize America planning. But, I could be wrong.

          Regardless, you are not likely to be able to cut defense funding for this. I know we'd all like to, but if that's how you go about this, I think you have a much tougher time of getting this passed. And the idea here is to get this stuff passed to help save the country and ween it off of foreign oil. At which point, the military might be able to be cut since we don't have as much need to secure oil supplies and fight nations that have oil under their territory.

          Pass this first. It is an investment, so I'm not opposed to going into debt to some extent to see it done, because it'll save us gaboodles over the longterm. But, some revenue streams, even if it is something like a pollution tax or something else could be developed and tailored for this.

          •  Go after the big pot of money (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            And of course cutting War Department funds, and ending the War for Oil in Iraq will actually INCREASE US security, so this is a win-win solution.

            Of course you are right, we have a bi-partisan majority who are dedicated to continuing the obscene funding levels that the military-industrial complex is accustomed to.  But could we not even get them to take a two week vacation from the war?  $23.8 billion available just from cutting two weeks of Pentagon bloat- they would hardly miss it!

            I agree with you, there is an extensive discussion of funding in the Energize America plan, but of course that is one of the most controversial parts of the package, and now that the Democratically controlled congress has endorsed Pay-Go, there won't be funding for these initiatives without increasing taxes on millionaires or cutting somewhere else in the budget- the War Department is the biggest target and the most squandered money.  

            Look at how the War Department couldn't even find the sub-sub-sub-contract for Blackwater, it was passed along through multiple layers until it reached Halliburton, with each step along the way sucking down their 15 t0 20% profit and overhead.  What a scam.

          •  Well, there is a lot of research. . . (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xan, BlackGriffen

            . . . already being paid for out of the Defense budget. Even basic research. When I was a kid, my father did lots of basic oceanographic research - none of it of immediate defense applicability - under grants from the Navy.

            I know it's kinda backwards thinking, but rather than try to pry the money away from them, maybe we could just make them pay for it? Heck, they misplace billions on a regular basis, they wouldn't even notice it. . .

            •  Good Idea (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Given that control over your energy supply is a huge defense issue, both on a societal level and directly in prosecuting a war, the DOD should be eager to fund such activities. I mean, at the strategic level you don't want the economy to rely so heavily on foreign sources of energy because any prolonged war is likely to mean supply constraints. That, of course, means the economy gets strangled, reducing both the people's willingness to continue to fight and their ability to even produce the tools of war. Look no further than Czarist Russia in WWI or the South in the U.S. Civil War to see how necessary a strong economy is to prosecuting a war.

              It also matters on a tactical level. To the extent that you can reduce your reliance on long supply lines you make your army stronger and cheaper to maintain in the field. Granted, the need for supply lines and probably even oil won't ever go away, but even reducing such demands is a huge improvement.

              So, yeah, DOD should be far more interested in the topic than they seem to be.

        •  Current focus is drafting not funding legislation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xan, smokeymonkey, means are the ends

          I don't mean to downplay the need to be able to finance the many acts currently being worked on (especially after the Dems adopted 'pay as you go' funding).. but it's not the team's top priority, and it's not exclusively our domain to solve.  

          For instance, we were  told to fund one specific act to the tune of $500M.  Fine, let's go with that and have the professionals worry about financing.  These are not pie-in-the-sky proposals, but governmental funding is a hugely complex process that need not complicate our work here.  In fact, if we're not careful, it could end up derailing it with unnecessary discussions.  We have to de-couple drafting legislation from financing it, or we'll stay traped in a do-loop as we all attack the military budget or this pet project or that line item...

          Energize America: Demand Energy Security by 2020!

          by Doolittle Sothere on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:11:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I rarely diary due to time constraints @ work (0+ / 0-)

        and dial-up at home, but if there are any diaries that need to be done I would be happy to help out if you need my daily slot here.

        "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

        by NearlyNormal on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 11:32:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Are you in contact/association with the Climate (12+ / 0-)

      Project?  My husband, also a lawyer, attended the first training for presenters in Nashville in December.  He intends to devote most of his time to energy issues & climate change now - and has worked as a lobbyist in the past and drafts legislation.

      We see now that the Union of Concerned Scientists is also developiong a public outreach project.

      How coordinated are all these efforts?

      I agree it's the most important issue facing humankind.

      "Buy a Boat. Save the Seed."

      by cumberland sibyl on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:21:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are multiple (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Devilstower, Xan

        Kossacks who are TCP trainees ... I am one of them.

        TCP is explicit, at least at this point, in not endorsing any specific legislative answers or activity.  Thus, my involvement in both does not consititute an endorsement of either by the other ... (Although, doubt you would find anyone involved with EA2020 who does not endorse The Climate Project ...)

        Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

        by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:21:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  An excellent discussion ... (5+ / 0-)

      tip of the hat ...

      This is a tremendous partner to Re-Energizing ENERGIZE AMERICA ...  Thank you.  Wonderfully done as you, yet again, amaze me.  

      Thus, thank you again as we work to see the sun rise for a better future for your, my, and our children ... for all of US ... for all of us!

      Rising sun

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:20:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent (17+ / 0-)

    I wish like hell I had the expertise to participate in this important effort.

    Our new Governor in Colorado, Bill Ritter, is all about energy. I don't know if he's seen Energize America, but if he hasn't, it should be forwarded to him posthaste.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:23:48 AM PST

    •  Ditto, Bumblebums. (15+ / 0-)

      But we can read, we can edit, we can send information and links to people. We can write LTE's.

      Jerome, I'm thinking that this is important to present not just to federal legislators, but to state legislators. From what I've seen, much of the federal action (inaction or bad action) that's been contested over the last four years have come from state initiatives.

      •  Indeed (11+ / 0-)

        That's the angle we think the next version should focus on: promoting local initiatives.

        We've had several requests in that direction, and mechanisms to pool local experience and allow best practices would be great - and definitely with the dKos modus operandi.

        •  Then I humbly volunteer to tackle informing (6+ / 0-)

          the people of Maine.

          We may be small, but we're independent sorts, willing to take on the federal gov's positions on clean water and air, health care, prescription drugs, and I'm sure, on energy.

          •  Maryland is working on this also (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xan, zic, A Siegel

            We dumped the backwards Bushite governor and now have Martin O'Malley who will work to make Maryland cleaner and greener.  We will soon pass the Clean Cars Act, then work on other environmental issues that were neglected for the last four years.

            The states will have to lead, because Bush is the worst president ever on the environment, worse than the evil Reagan who started the slide into pollution and endless exploitation of fossil fuels.

            Now that the insurance companies have refused to write new policies for Maryland's coastal areas, even some of the clueless repubs are waking up to the reality of rising sea levels.  Watch as they ask for tax breaks and government funds to build dikes to protect their Hummers!

            •  It's not just how bad the fed's have become (0+ / 0-)

              it's old laws in states that based on a world where energy is not a problem. A great example in ME is shoreland zoning, the state's most restrictive land-use law. It makes creating small hydro plants nearly impossible; yet where I live in western ME there are literally thousands of small streams rushing down steep slopes that could use to generate small quantities of power during high-water without impounds behind them.

              Other laws to review would include height limits that impact wind generators.

              These are just examples off the top of my head.

              But different areas have differing potential energy production abilities, and it's imperative for local review of laws that prohibit this development.

              Sadly, I predict that this type of review will pit special-interest environmentalist against "energy environmentalists," leading to many a circular firing squad.

              •  How about tidal energy in Maine? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Xan, zic

                Don't you have some fairly extreme daily tidal variations that could be used to generate electricity?

                Here in Maryland our daily tidal variations are only a foot or so, not so much power available, but still a possibility.

                The diary earlier this week that talked about geothermal energy was pretty promising.  Drilling deep holes is something that we have lots of expertise in here in the US, and maybe some of the old coal mines and empty oil wells could be used for this purpose.

                Lots of possibilities once we dump Cheney and Bush, the fossil fools.

                •  Other energy projects (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zic, A Siegel

                  If you or other Kossacks have renewable energy projects that you are aware of or think should be happening...I would love to hear about them and see what I can do to help them.

                  Transacting carbon credits, renewable energy certificates, and finding investors is what I do for a living and have done for many years at this point.

                  I'm aware of tidal projects on the board for ME...and for MD actually.  

                •  I don't know much about tidal projects (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I live a couple hours from the coast.

                  There are lots of moth-balled bio-mass generators at wood mills all over the state, moth balled when energy costs went down and the value of wood fiber increased. These are not carbon-neutral, but they do rely on carbon already released into the stream instead of sequestered carbon.

                  Probably the biggest bro-ha-ha in the state that's not getting enough attention is the hydro dam on the Androscoggin River that creates an impound called Gulf Island Pond. This slows the water turnover of the impound to the point that it is unable to meet disolved oxygen standards. The focus for the lack of meeting water quality goes to the paper industry and municipal waste-water treatment plants above the dam, yet the DEP (Depatment of Environmental Protection) models indicate that the stream would not come into water-quality compliance with no discharges as long as the dam remains. Ironically, the dam becomes the elephant in the river -- nobody wants to talk about it as the problem, lots of people want to force industry and municipalities to "clean up there acts," and the same DEP modeling indicates that the river would, in fact, comply with the existing discharges were the dam removed.

                  It's just one example of the conundrums that face us.

                  •  Biomass plants in ME (0+ / 0-)

                    Yes, there are a large number of biomass plants in ME.  And I'm quite familiar with operations and re-start of several of them.  

                    Generally speaking, I would say biomass power in ME is carbon neutral.  The timber stands that are the source of wood chips is and is likely toremain in relative steady state, which is a little different from palm oil plantations, for instance.

                    Dam removal is a big issue certainly.  I've only really looked at it closely in CT.  

                    •  At the risk of over-complicating the issue (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      there is one huge piece of this folks don't often relate to the issue; the benefits of a working forest. Without industrial ownership, the north of Maine would likely be subject to development. As a working forest, it's an active sink, absorbing more carbon then is produced by the entire northeast.

                      Certainly, it would be better if it were just left alone.

                      But that's not likely to happen. It's either going to provide timber resources/wildlife habitat/recreation or turn into another very large suberb (SP? dyslexic moment here.)

                      Just the patterns of ownership change are disturbing. Currently, the largest landowner is Irving, a Candadian company.

                      I do see signs of large investment by LLC's funded in part by universities; and I have not done the research to determine motive for this.

                      I have not been successful in determining if studies have been done on the carbon-sinking potential of actively growing forests, such as here, vs. mature, stable forests, such as in the west. I do know that one mature redwood tree is a much better sink then a mature white pine.

              •  There are many (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Devilstower, Xan, zic, BlackGriffen

                restrictions throughout the nation, both in law and Home-Owner Association (HOA) by-laws, that restrict sensible implementation not just of renewable energy, but often of energy efficiency as well.

                For example, many building inspectors/permit offices don't know how to handle things like green roofs (and solar power), which creates a real hurdle in getting them accepted.

                Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

                by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:23:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, Local Action Critical (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It is, after all, the zoning laws and other local regulations that affect the shape that our society literally physically takes. And, as techno's recent diary stressed it is the design of things that largely dictates energy demands. Everything else is wiggle room by comparison or expensive as hell to implement once the thing is built. Myself, I'm a big fan of walkable communities, and would love to see active encouragement of more of them instead of more of the cookie cutter suburban isolation camps. Even better would be to have workplaces within walking distance, too, unless public health and safety demands that such places be far away from where people live.

          Just my 2¢.

    •  Hey, BumbleBums: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumblebums, RosyFinch

      I'll bet you know how to email the governor with links to EA, or send attachments about EA, right to his office, without even researching the topic.  I'd say that's expertise enough to make a significant contribution.

      If you live close enough, maybe you could even print it all out and deliver it personally to the Guv'.

      I hope you will.  Cheers...


  •  I might be able to help a bit (10+ / 0-)

    with the modeling (per your email to the stats-geeks mailing list). Unfortunately, my understanding of energy issues is that of the interested layman, but I do have a reasonable amount of expertise in number-crunching.


    Having trouble finding stuff on Daily Kos? This page has some handy hints and tricks.

    by dmsilev on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:24:13 AM PST

  •  my congressman might be ... (11+ / 0-)

    ... somewhat amenable to Energize America. and he is a Dem - problem is, he's also demonstrated a propensity for Inhofianism

    it's Dan Boren, congressman for northeastern Oklahoma - and i'd be absolutely willing to begin hounding him (in an extremely professional and only once every two-three weeks manner, of course) about it

    it's my sense Energize America could very well be a go in these parts. we have our crazy right wingers - but this county is 75% Democratic and very beautiful (Ozarks, Ancient Forest, scenic rivers, etc) and environmentally very fragile.

    ... which brings up a question ... hmmm.

    yoohoo! Jerome!

    how about Cherokee Nation? this is Cherokee Nation here, meaning a tremendous number of Boren's constituents are also members of Cherokee Nation, and Cherokee Nation can, to an extent, run the show in this area politically.

    perhaps Cherokee Nation should be made aware of Energize America? it would be a boon for them, as they're responsible for ensuring the Cherokee citizenry in this specific territory (which encompasses 14 counties, so is pretty large) is safe, warm in winter, cool in summer, etc.

    should i begin sending them the info, too?

    It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

    by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:31:15 AM PST

    •  Please do (8+ / 0-)

      This is open source, it's open to all to use and distribute and publicize. The more the better.

      Plus it also makes dKos looks good...

    •  There's an odd nexis (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xan, mataliandy, cookiebear, lcrp, atdnext, A Siegel

      Because some of the wingier nuts tend towards survivalism, and some of the energy independence things brought down to the local level actually are a pretty good match for that kind of thinking.  Actions that pump the part of the economy that makes non-oil energy stuff tend to drive down prices, for example.

      I'm thinking your region is pretty well suited to both solar and wind energy, for example.

      •  exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xan, atdnext, A Siegel

        re: the nexis

        and exactly re: the solar and pretty much the wind. although the central and western parts of the state are actually perfect matches for wind --- gad, it's almost unliveable there not only because it's so barren and (in my opinion) nearly semi-desert, but the wind never stops blowing!

        It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

        by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 08:13:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Cherokee Nation Wind Power???? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xan, cookiebear, RosyFinch

      What are the wind conditions in your area? For example ...

      As well, investing in energy efficiency within the Nation ... and getting the Bureau of Indian Affairs to start investing that way.

      Invest in our infrastructure with a focus on COST TO OWN rather than 'cost to buy', and we will see tremendous leaps forward in energy efficiency and lower GHG footprints.  It is HIGHLY COST EFFECTIVE to build smart, as long as you are thinking about the day after you move in and not just the day you sign the contract.  This is true for individuals, communities (community centers, schools, police stations, etc), businesses, and government at all levels.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:26:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  better Kiowa or Kickapoo Wind Power (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xan, A Siegel, RosyFinch

        the tribes in the central and western part of the state are in Wind City, and much poorer than Cherokee Nation. weather conditions there are much worse, as well --- i've been in 125 degree temps there before and winters are brutal

        we have wind here, but nothing like they have --- this is the gateway to the south basically and we're classfied by some as southeastern, so the climate is very different. wind power is doable, but solar would be a better bet, imo.

        but west of us? definitely prime for wind power

        the gov't determines the kinds of housing tribes are able to put up --- so, hmmmm.

        but Cherokee Nation just started installing pellet stoves in eligible homes, in part, if i understand correctly, as an energy efficiency measure - although there are much more efficient ways of heating, it shows there's some room for discussion.

        i definitely think you're onto something here

        It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

        by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:42:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh lord, this is gonna involve Interior (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        means are the ends

        most graft-ridden, crook-infested, incompetent-when-not-crook staffed agency in the US government.

        Sigh. Oh well, we were going to have to clean them up anyway. But anything to do with Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Forest Service, NPS and other agencies--which by all rights and logic should be in the forefront of conservation and EnergizeAmerica type activities--is going to be a lot harder than it otherwise would be if we had sane honest people in charge there.

        Onward & upward & all that.. :)

        Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

        by Xan on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:32:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good work (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, Asinus Asinum Fricat

    This is definitely a drum that needs to be beaten. The acts look great.  We are headed to a big energy fight in this country, with the dinosaurs trying to promote coal as our energy source for the future.  Energize America is a winner.

    A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. - Aristotle

    by DWG on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:33:31 AM PST

  •  Thanks Jerome (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, A Siegel, blue armadillo

    I was disappointed that A Siegel's original diary seemed to fly under the radar, so I'm quite happy to see that you're helping to give Energize America a visibility boost here.

    by dsnodgrass on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:45:35 AM PST

  •  I'll get on it today (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, means are the ends

    Easy enough to send good ideas to my congressmen.

  •  Good work Jerome (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Asinus Asinum Fricat, A Siegel

    My Senators are so so on energy but my House rep is [in fact most of from OR.] seems to really  working for it. What I know I've learned from your diaries. The state level seems like it would be good too, as per Calif. The congress seems so mired in influence peddling and corruption it would help if the states pushed them along. I would be willing to send any legislator to Energize America. It feels good to take action rather than just bitch, even better that it's collective! Is the EA2020 the place to direct them?

  •  Suggestion: List endorsements on your website. (4+ / 0-)

    My representative is Tammy Baldwin.  I don't know if she is aware of Energize America or not.  I suspect she has been contacted about it.

    It would be GREAT if this information were available on your website!  I might be able to help with this as I have some IT/web experience. Just let me know (email in profile).

  •  Energy LaFayette (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you, Jerome.  You are our energy LaFayette.  Vive la France!

    I got some friends who've been thinking about the laws and regs that need to be changed for quite some time now.  I'll let them know there is now an oppportunity to do something about it.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at

    by gmoke on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:55:41 AM PST

  •  This is a wonderful initiative (5+ / 0-)

    and the titles of the legislative pieces sound too good to be real. I am nearing the end of a book I have been working on for two years so I can't volunteer to actual do drafting (a little outside my experience too), but I will watch and comment and try to help more after April.

    I think that this is a fabulous effort.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:06:14 AM PST

  •  A suggestion (4+ / 0-)

    I suggest you start from a bill already introduced  and point to changes and additional sections you would recommend.  Look at S.2747 which is the bill proposed in the last Congress by now-Chairman of the Energy Committee Jeff Bingaman.  

    If the proposal is grounded to something that already exists and has been discussed then you have a much better chance of being heard.

    •  Actually ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The specific member we are dealing with wants clean sheet ... clean individual acts, even if connected as a holistic concept ... and plans to walk it through among senior members to see which of these make sense.  It will be an iterative process -- here at Daily Kos and on the Hill.  And, we are just in the 'crawl' stage of figuring out how to make this work.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:29:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's fine (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xan, A Siegel

        but you shouldn't ignore what's out there as one of the "individual acts" you are proposing.  S.2747 isn't everything you are trying to deal with but it is a large piece.  Senator Bingaman is looking to move that bill, with changes and additions, as a base bill for efficiency this Congress.  It would be a shame to ignore that possibility to actually have a concept be introduced into the debate simply because you are trying to go from a "clean sheet."

        The fact is, many of these concepts are already addressed in that legislation and could probably benefit from collective analysis and comment.

        •  A potential perspective ... (0+ / 0-)

          desire is to have coherent discussion / focus of specific issue areas/opportunities that could/might stand on their own.  But, but ... these also could allow members to cherry pick the specific elements that they do like to put within other legislation, as appropriate.  

          I think that there is significant thoughtful flexibility in our 'partner' on this.  Get the good ideas developed in a coherent manner and then see where they might fit.

          Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

          by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:56:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh yeah ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Want to do a breakdown of S.2747 for the community? For EA2020?  That would be help.

          Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

          by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:56:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Breakdown (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel, RosyFinch

            With apologies (it's long), but I couldn't find a linkable version, here's the section by section of S.2747:

            S. 2747 – The Enhanced Energy Security Act of 2006


            Sec. 101-- Oil Savings Target and Action Plan: The bill directs OMB to publish an action plan to save different levels of oil per day starting with to 2.5 million barrels per day in 2016 and at least 7 million barrels per day in 2026 and 10 million barrels per day in 2031. The savings would be from projected levels in those years.  OMB is directed to work with the Secretaries of Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Transportation and the Administrator of EPA to publish an action plan for reaching the targets using a combination of existing programs and the newly authorized programs in the bill.  

            Sec. 102 --Standards and Requirements:  The bill directs the Secretaries and the Administration to propose regulations under OMB’s action plan and directs an agency analysis of the amount of oil savings planned from the regulations.

            Sec. 103 – Initial Evaluation:  Within 2 years of enactment the Director of OMB shall publish a government wide analysis of oil savings achieved.  If they are less than defined targets, the Director will publish a revised action plan and the Secretaries and the Administration shall propose and promulgate the new plan.

            Sec. 104 – Review and Update of Action Plan:  Starting in 2011 and every year 3 years thereafter a report to Congress and the public will be published that evaluates the progress in achieving oil savings, analyses expected oil savings and the potential to achieve additional savings from the targets.  It also grants the President the authority to establish a higher savings target for calendar year 2017 and beyond.  

            Sec. 105 – Baseline and Analysis Requirements:  Requires the oil savings determination be made from the baseline detailed in the EIA Annual Energy Outlook for 2005.  Requires the OMB, the Secretaries and the Administrator to determine the oil savings projections required on an annual basis for 2009-2026 and account for any overlap among the standards and programs between agencies to make sure the total oil savings is as accurate as possible.


            Sec. 201 – Federal fleet conservation requirements.  Requires the Secretary of Energy to issue regulations for federal and state fleets covered by the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to reduce petroleum consumption by 30% from a 1999 baseline by FY2016.  

            Sec. 202 – Assistance for State programs to retire fuel-inefficient motor vehicles.   Requires the Secretary of Energy to provide grants to States to establish voluntary programs providing financial incentives for permanently retiring fuel-inefficient vehicles.  

            Sec. 203  –  Assistance to States to reduce school bus idling. -- Encourages local educational agencies to develop a policy to reduce the incidence of school bus idling.  Authorizes $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2013 for the Secretary of Energy to work with the Secretary of Education to inform States and local educational  agencies of ways to reduce bus idling and the attendant benefits.

            Sec. 204  – Near Term Vehicle Technology Program. --  Authorizes the Secretary of Energy to conduct a program of research, development, demonstration and commercial application for electric drive transportation technology, including “plug-in hybrid electric vehicles”.   Funding of $300,000,000 is authorized for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2012.  

            Sec. 205 -- Light Weight Materials Research:  Authorizes $60,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2007-2012 for the Secretary of Energy to establish a research and development program on the use of light-weight materials such as advanced carbon composites and light-weight steel alloys in the construction of vehicles.  

            Sec. 206 – Loan Guarantees for Fuel-Efficient Automobile Manufacturers and Suppliers.   Amends EPACT 2005 to authorize the Secretary of Energy to issue loan guarantees for facilities for the manufacture of fuel-efficient vehicles, including hybrid and advanced diesel vehicles, or parts of such vehicles.

            Sec. 207. --  Funding for Alternative Fueling Infrastructure.    Establishes a trust fund from which the Secretary may award grants to increase and promote the availability of fueling stations for alternative fuels.   Directs that 90 percent of the civil penalties collected for violations of federal fuel economy standards be remitted to the trust fund.

            Sec. 208 – Deployment of New Technologies to reduce Oil use in Transportation.  
            Authorizes the Secretary of Energy to provide deployment incentives on a competitive basis for a variety of projects to produce transportation fuel from cellulosic biomass.    Also authorizes the Secretary to provide funding assistance to qualified automobile manufacturers and component suppliers for converting manufacturing facilities to produce advanced technology vehicles.

            Sec. 209 -- Production Incentives for Cellulosic Biofuels.   Increases the authorization for production incentives for cellulosic biomass fuel in EPAct 2005 to $200 million for five years.  


            Sec. 301 – Renewable Portfolio Standard.  Establishes a renewable portfolio standard reaching 10 percent by 2020 and a renewable energy credit trading program. Covered electric utilities may meet the standard by generating electricity using renewable energy, purchasing electricity generated by renewable energy or purchasing renewable energy credits.   In cases where the standard cannot be met, allows retail seller of electricity to buy credits from the Secretary of Energy at a price of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.  

            Sec. 302 – Federal requirement to purchase electricity generated by renewable energy.  Strengthens the legal mandate for the Federal government to be a leading marketplace driver towards the purchase and use of electricity generated from renewable sources.  To the extent that the Federal government uses its purchasing power to promote renewable electricity generation, it takes price pressure off other forms of electricity generation, including natural gas-fired electricity generation.


            Sec. 401 – Energy Savings Performance Contracts.   Clarifies that federal agencies may retain 100 percent of the guaranteed savings under an ESPC.  Expands the definition of energy savings to include energy savings from on-site renewable energy generation and the value of transferring excess energy generated on-site to utilities or non-federal energy users.  Expands financing flexibility for federal agencies to reduce costs.    Requires a study of opportunities to use ESPCs for transportation energy savings and other non-building applications.

            Sec. 402 – Deployment of New Technologies for high-efficiency consumer products.   Authorizes the Secretary to competitively award financial incentives for the manufacture of high-efficiency consumer products based on bids for dollar per megawatt hour or million Btus saved.  

            Sec. 403 --   National Media Campaign to Decrease Oil and Natural Gas Consumption.  Authorizes $5,000,000 for 4 years to conduct a media campaign to educate consumers about how they can save oil and natural gas.  

            Sec. 404 -- Energy efficiency resource programs.  Requires state regulators and non-regulated utilities to determine, within four years, whether electric and natural gas utility energy efficiency policies and programs are cost-effective and should be implemented.


            Sec. 501 – Small business and agricultural producer energy emergency disaster relief loan program.    Establishes a four year program to provide SBA disaster loand to small businesses harmed by the significant increase in the prices of heating oil, natural gas, propane, gasoline or kerosene.  Also amends the USDA emergency loan program to authorize loans to small farmers and agricultural enterprises harmed by high energy prices.

            Sec. 502 – Efficient and safe equipment program.   Authorizes a short-term, streamlined and focused effort to replace extremely inefficient or unsafe HVAC equipment in homes eligible for Weatherization assistance.

            •  Bingamans bill is the weakest (0+ / 0-)

              of the three proposed. It does not meet the "gold standard" Sanders bill or even Liebermans nuke friendly version.
              See this NYT graph comparison
              Free Image Hosting at

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

              by dotcommodity on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 10:43:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Harness the energy in ego-power (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          A Siegel

          and we could probably cancel new generating plant construction for the next several decades.

          But it's a reality we have to work with. If Bingaman was out ahead on this issue he deserves credit. If he's gonna whine and pull back if his name isn't on the bill, well then some alternative form of stroking will have to be devised.

          Perhaps we should pull in some kindergarden teachers to advise us on how to get immature people to work peacefully on a common goal. :)

          Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

          by Xan on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:39:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Detroit Edison sent me wind energy info (4+ / 0-)

    Our homeowner association owns alot of open space, I'm going to push for a few turbines we get alot of wind up here in Oxford.  A huge swath of the area used to be a gravel pit so there's a golf course and alot of open spaces.

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

      all over have acres and acres of open land that could be used to generate neighborhood power.

      Just one question about yours, though... would you get a mulligan if your drive hits the turbine? :)

      It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

      by netguyct on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:31:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And, there are some pretty good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      smaller scale turbines that can be cost effective for individual homeowners -- basically want at least an acre of land.

      And, this is valuable for so many levels. In addition to 'cash' value of electricity, it can be set up to assure continuity of power (even if at reduce levels) if something happens to the larger grid. (E.g., your community wouldn't have blackouts ...)

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:30:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and we won't be dumping huge globs of CO2 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        into the air, even one turbine would offset probably a half a street of CO2, not that any of it makes it right

        and if people call it an eyesore, I can think of alot of other types of eyesores, especially those oil pumps that dot the CA coast and I'm sure they fill the landscape of OK and TX.  REPLACE ALL OF THOSE OIL PUMPS WITH A WIND TURBINE ESPECIALLY THE DORMANT ONES!!!

        •  Actually ... a different tack ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There are, increasingly, wind & solar being connected to oil pumps.  Why burn oil to get oil out of the ground when it can be done cheaper with renewables, to then sell more oil for a higher profit?

          Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

          by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:54:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which section does greenbuilding fall under (ix?)? i know someone who could be interested (if he has the time).

    © 2007 because i needed a homepage, and the world needed another blogger...

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 07:26:52 AM PST

    •  Green Building (LEED / ZERO-ENERGY) ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Was not truly included in EA2020.

      BUT ...

      This is an one of the areas of 'additional' subjects to work together on ... we are definitely interested in and planning to try to pursue this challenge.  

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:31:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Passenger Railroad (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, NoMoreLies, neroden, A Siegel, netguyct

    There is no way political, economically, or structurally for the plan - as currently written - can come into being.  It ignores the historical and economic realities of the private railroads that own the trackage.  And it requires far more than a few selected routes to be politically viable.

    I promised to write on this - and I will this weekend - after 4 on Friday.

    •  Look forward to your thoughts/expertise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to advance the discussion re railroads.

      Certainly know that rail is not my forte / strength.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:32:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Railroads, not trucks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xan, A Siegel, AshesAllFallDown

      I have had the chance to review the Energize America final draft and disagree with its proposals for increasing the size and weight limits of trucks. This type of proposal neglects the fact that this will further degrade road infrastructure and add immensely to road maintenance and construction costs.

      Rebuilding roads to allow for these new trucks is extremely expensive and costs up to 4 times per lane mile as installing/upgrading railroad trackage to class 4 (60 mph freight trains). Furthermore, the injuries to the environment from large highways (runoff, road salt, etc.) are nearly absent  from railroad tracks.

      Furthermore, encouragement of large trucks increases the chance of crashes, injuries and fatalities, particularly here in the Upper Midwest, where weather related conditions make large rigs vulnerable to jackknifing and virtually undriveable. Trains are affected little by the run of the mill snowfall; trucks are greatly affected.

      A far better way is to invest further in freight railines. Per ton-mile, trains are 3 or more times more efficient than trucks, so public-private investment in rail infrastructure will have a far greater bang for the buck than will be mandating larger truck sizes and fuel efficiency. And this is given current locomotive technology. We need to emphasize that the majority of long haul freight needs to go on trains for maximum efficiency. Trucks should only haul special loads or local deliveries from intermodal facilities served by rail. We do not need mega trucks for these purposes.

      Additionally, improving freight rail infrastructure has the potential side benefit of freeing up/improving passenger rail infrastructure, and minimizing the passenger/freight rail conflict.

  •  I just emailed (5+ / 0-)

    Congressman McNerney from California with a link to this diary.  I dropped a copy of the PDF to his Stockton office after he was elected, but never got a response from him.  This seems tailor-made to showcase his particular expertise, and if he's not on board, it would be a real shame.

    I wish I could help you more, but I have absolutely no knowledge or experience in this arena.  I'll just spread the word far and wide, and keep nudging my Congressman.

  •  If you want to win bipartisan support (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, A Siegel

    for these proposals, then the best way to do so is not with legislation that increases regulation and appropriates billions of dollars of funding.

    Far simpler, and far more economical, is to amend Section 179A of the tax code, which currently provides a $100,000 tax deduction for "clean-fuel vehicle refueling property."  

    Proper amendment of 179A requires three things:

    1. change "refueling" to "refueling-capable,"
    1. make applicable to any taxpayer
    1. enumerate that at least three of the following componenets must be utilized: photovoltaic solar, wind turbines, fuel cells, geothermal.

    This would cover most of what you want to accomplish in the following acts:
    --Community-based energy
    --wind energy production
    --20 million solar roofs

    I know that hydrogen and fuel cells are not part of Energize America, and I disagree with that exclusion for reasons to be explained at a later time.  I also question whether federal net metering is a good idea, or even within Congressional power to enact.  Net metering has three primary problems: 1) difficult/dangerous to troubleshoot; 2) peak supply from renewable micropower sources occurs when it is needed least (e.g., sunny May day from solar, when there is not much aggregate demand), which results in much greater inefficiency of the current infrastructure; 3) "net" value of community-based electricity produced when a surplus already exists is much lower than that which is consumed during periods of high demand.

    But you and Energize America have done excellent work.  The trick is to keep the legislation simple.  Every Republican likes a tax break (BTW, individual taxpayers could form an REIT collectively to aggregate benefits from amended 179A).

    I have raised the idea of amending 179A with Dick Durbin's staff.  Still waiting to hear back...    

    •  What do you have against passive solar? (7+ / 0-)

      Why have an incentive for solar panels, but not for trombe walls or passive solar water heaters, for example?  Hell, there ought to be an incentive for putting up a clothesline, too.  Considering the other stuff the feds do for "National Security" reasons, why not invalidate local ordinances and covenants against their use on that grounds?

      •  I like passive solar et al (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xan, A Siegel

        but they don't fit into this particular legislative proposal.

        If you're going amend the provision for "clean-vehicle refueling property," then the components at issue must have some tie to an individual's ability to fuel an electric, plug-in hybrid, or fuel cell car.  As sources of electricity, photovoltaics, wind, and geothermal qualify (geothermal can be a source of both thermal energy and electricity).  Fuel cells (and hydrogen extracting/storage devices) are a means of storing/processing off-peak/surplus renewable electricity for use during peak times or for refueling.

        Passive solar/trombe walls are also desirable but warrant different legislation.

    •  I agree w/several points, but pls explain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xan, A Siegel

      how you can ascertain:

      1. peak supply from renewable micropower sources occurs when it is needed least (e.g., sunny May day from solar, when there is not much aggregate demand), which results in much greater inefficiency of the current infrastructure; 3) "net" value of community-based electricity produced when a surplus already exists is much lower than that which is consumed during periods of high demand.

      Solar photovoltaics would produce the most when peak demand is greatest, summertime mid-day, when sun is strongest.  

      Is there a "surplus" of electricity anywhere?

      Agreed, distributed generation will require grid interconnection standards (IEEE stds) be followed to mitigate risks and problems.

      It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

      by netguyct on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 08:57:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If personal installed photovoltaic capacity (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Devilstower, Xan

        approximates personal baseload demand, rather than peak use, then there will be no surplus on summer days to sell back.

        For example, assume my average daily use during non-peak months is 2kW per hour.  If I install 2kW of photovoltaic capacity, I do not need to buy electricity from the grid (assuming the sun is shining that day).

        But in summer, when the air conditioners are kicking, I consume 4 kW during peak use hours.  Despite my solar panels producing at peak capacity (during peak hours)--and I agree that solar production tracks nicely with the daily electricity demand curve/sine wave--I still have to buy 2 kW from the grid.

        If I install enough solar to handle peak demand (4 kW), then I don't need to buy from the grid in the summer.  But in May (or September), when I'm only using 2 kW, I have 2 kW to "sell back."  Problem is, May isn't a peak demand month.  Every other net metering participant in my situation has excess capacity to sell back to the utility.  But the utility doesn't need it because its baseload plants can already provide for the May demand.  Because baseload plants are much more efficient than peaker plants, this glut of supply makes the distribution of electricity in a net metering system far less efficient in non-peak months.

        •  ok, but (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xan, A Siegel, means are the ends

          if in non-peak conditions, a distributed infrastructure produces more than its owners require, therefore supplying the grid, won't the baseload plant fuel requirement be decreased?  
          If in the "ideal" condition every building were capable of producing more than it consumed, then I would agree there would be a surplus. But until every building is so equipped, why wouldn't the supplying of the grid be considered desirable?

          It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

          by netguyct on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:35:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xan, A Siegel, netguyct

            The question is whether this is a good thing.

            The goal with any decentralized system, IMHO, is to improve the efficiency of the entire system.  To the extent you can maximize, rather than exacerbate, the utilization of the baseload generating assets, you improve the efficiency of the entire system.

            You can make a much stronger case for compelling utilities to invest in environmental remediation when their most efficient assets are operating at 95% of capacity instead of 55% of capacity.  Keep in mind that most baseload plants are already more efficient than peaker plants, and more of them are nuclear/natural gas rather than coal-fired.

            In a net metering system, you would reduce demand from peaker plants, which is a good thing.  But you would also reduce demand from baseload plants, which is not necessarily a good thing.

            The trick is to "save" the surplus electricity from that produced off-peak from community-based renewable assets for use during peak periods.  More on this later...  

            •  Baseload systems ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Xan, netguyct

              natural gas?  Thought natural gas, because of the ease/speed of turning on/off turbines, was the peak demand system ...

              Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

              by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:51:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I think our vision of the end goal differs.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              A Siegel

              I agree that a distributed generation system starts out increasing the efficiency of the entire electric system.  However, maximizing the efficiency of the "as-is" infrastructure should be the first phase of a more far-reaching goal.. imho.

              In my vision of electricity infrastructure utopia, for lack of a better phrase, the owner/operators of the large baseload and peak plants get into the distributed generation space, or a more modular plant architecture and eventually shut down the existing, large plants.  Granted, this is a utopic 'vision' but it could operate closer to optimal efficiency more of the time.

              You make a very compelling point about getting the existing owner/operators to invest in environmentally sound operation....  However, as we've seen with the Oil Companies, record profits don't necessarily mean re-investment.  I agree with the principle and the goal, but what they do with the money realized from operating at peak efficiency is going to be their choice.

              It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

              by netguyct on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:36:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Baseline more efficient than solar? (0+ / 0-)

          The "efficient" baseline plants -- aren't a lot of them coal? So if the grid had excess solar power in May, we could shut down some coal plants until those peak summer months come around.

          What am I missing?

          -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 09:56:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think I see the problem... (5+ / 0-)

            Which I admit I had never thought about before, but it is going to be a challenge.

            Say you are an electric generating utility. You have to pay X bux for a plant to generate Y megawatts, which is what your service area* requires to cover its maximum demand, presumably a month-long heat wave in August when every AC unit is running day and night.

            Now you have that generating capacity all year long, but it's only making money in August. The rest of the year everybody has their needs met by their rooftop solar array. Suddenly ALL commercial power plants are "peaker" plants and the utility industry goes broke.

            So besides the extractive industries, we are going to have every power company in the world, not to mention GE and other generator builders, fighting us tooth and nail. We must find a way to work around this....

            *yeah, this is hopelessly simplified; the concept of "service area" for utilities went poof about the time I got laid off when Illinois Power got bought out by Dynegy and Enron-style geniuses decided to get rich by buying and selling paper rather than actually pushing electrons through wires. But this is for illustrative purposes only.

            Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?

            by Xan on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:56:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't panic. (0+ / 0-)

              The utilities will always need enough capacity for peak times. They will always recoup the cost of the excess capacity from their customers. They have always done this. This is OK. (Unless you can convince America to live without air conditioning.)

              The utilities will, for the foreseeable future, need to constantly increase capacity -- both baseline and peak. This is because (a) the population is growing, and (b) the population is using more and more electric gizmos. This is not exactly OK, but is probably unavoidable.

              To accomplish this capacity increase, the utilities currently plan to ADD NEW coal plants. For example, see this (Texas gov. wants to speed 18 new coal plants, OPPOSED by conservative Christians. Hooray!).

              We could do a lot of good by steering the utilities to add solar/wind/biomass instead of adding coal. (For more encouragement, Google "texas wind power.") Once we get that accomplished, we could start replacing the oldest, dirtiest coal plants with wind/solar/biomass. Those two are big enough goals for the present.

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

              by HeyMikey on Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 12:45:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Looking forward to a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      direct discussion of "179A" ---

      I am not in full accord, from what I see, with "it solves" ... but this might provide a significant step forward.

      If you can make a coherent case, that stands up within our discussions here, I stand ready to be convinced of the value/importance of changing 179A.

      Not sure that I agree with your hits against net metering ... the 'safety' issue right now is (a) exaggerated and (b) appropriately solved with uniform standards of interface equipment that any electrician could put in in a straightforward way.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:37:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  20 Million Solar Roofs (16+ / 0-)

    It bothers me that solar energy is equated with photovoltaic panels producing electricity.  That's only one part, one kind of solar energy.

    My house is passive solar.  I use only a fraction of the energy that comparable non-solar homes in the area use.  Why?  

    • Solar hot water (pre-)heater
    • Window placement for solar gain
    • Window placement for daylighting
    • Proper insulation to keep solar gain in
    • Trombe walls
    • Thermal mass
    • Use clothesline rather than clothes dryer most of the year
    • Landscaping for summer shade and winter sun

    The propane delivery guy tells me I've got neighbors who use more propane in a month than I use in a year.  (Used for heating & cooking.)

    That said, solar roofs are good goals, especially for public buildings, and net metering is a good companion.

    I've written a lot of grants for tribes (and also served as a grant reviewer.)  The damn federal agencies routinely strip energy measures out, declining to fund them.  This is particularly a problem for construction projects, as it's usually very hard to come up with the funds for operating the buildings once built.

    This could be fixed by the Congress:
    All the various funding agencies (BIA, IHS, ANA, EPA, HUD, and so on) could be mandated to allow - even encourage - that a certain portion of funding should go for energy measures.  Especially agencies like HUD that actually fund building construction.  Especially on public buildings, it won't take long until it starts saving the taxpayers money, so those are funds especially well spent.

    One pay-go source of funds for additional energy (or other) measures in Indian country:
    These days, the Administration for Native Americans has a fairly new funding area started up for "defense of marriage" (withing the last couple of years).  The cultural tradition of many/most of our NOrth American native cultures is that the mother's brother plays a bigger role in raising her children than their father does.  While these traditions have become modified in the modern age, funding something which continues to dismantle traditional social structure is not a good thing.  Extended families participate in their care, generally, in ways a little different than the European descended Americans.  I suggest the Congress kill that thing entirely (as a pay-go source for money to use for something else).

    •  omg (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xan, oldjohnbrown, means are the ends

      i had no idea ANA had crafted such a measure.

      meanwhile, they've also yanked funding on some crucial language revitalization programs here.

      any chance of some links for that? i know some people who need to know about that.

      It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

      by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 08:17:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  never mind (0+ / 0-)

      i found it

      It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

      by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 08:32:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree strongly that ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xan, A Siegel, means are the ends

      ... the "less exciting" but highly impactful approaches/technologies need to be pursued aggressively.  I haven't read EA2020 (yet) in detail, but am eager to see the details on efficiency, passive solar, etc.

      Many efficiency measures, for example, have an enormous return on investment/fast payback period, yet  tend to be overlooked.  Sort of too obvious to see, as it were.

      I just read a report on a comprehensive energy audit of an older home in my town.  Half or more of their enormous heating bills go to convective losses -- i.e. the holes they can cheaply and easily plug.  That's huge savings for very little outlay, but it's a little harder to point to than a photovoltaic panel on the roof.

      Have you started solar cooking yet?  You can probably cut your propane use even further. ;-)

      •  True enough. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xan, A Siegel

        I've done a little, but only on a demonstration basis.  Besides, my main cooking is in the fall, when I put stuff up for winter.  It helps postpone turning on the heater by providing just enough, or during the winter, supplements the heater in warming things up.  Ditto on the dryer.  Vented inside, in bitter cold weather, it adds a little heat - plus humidity.

        But those little solar ovens are nifty indeed, and do a great job!

    •  Couple things ... (5+ / 0-)

      A -- Agree on import of passive solar (and am about to have solar hot water ... hopefully ... installed). Not engaging passive is to be non-holistic about energy issues. But, if we can push building to LEED-like standards at all levels, then passive solar is embedded in the approach.

      B -- VERY INTERESTED in your experience re energy / energy efficiency in grants.  And, your concepts as to how Congressional action could change that.

      C -- Family structure / culture -- is highly important, but not sure how that fits closely enough with EA2020's actions ...

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:42:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  funding (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xan, A Siegel, RosyFinch

        ANA (Administration for Native Americans) is an important source of funding for tribes and native communities

        and i actually know of people who have been funded by ANA for some years and have done excellent, important work, but who have had their funding yanked in the last year or so

        LoE's comment suggests to me why that funding was yanked - because the funds are now being diverted to the marriage thing

        and even though family counseling and support are desperately needed back here, this program is, from the looks of it, useless. better to do drug and alcohol counseling, nutritional and diabetes support, community action, etc.

        It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

        by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:51:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When it comes to language programs... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xan, cookiebear, RosyFinch

          ...there's always a huge demand for them.  True even back in the Clinton days.  Suggests a need to increase funding in that specific area, though.  And pretty safe to assume that during these "English only" Republican years, the care and nurturing of native languages wasn't exactly a top priority.

          •  one of the programs ... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Xan, Land of Enchantment

            ... which was defunded has been highly successful, though, in a tribe with, i think, only 6 speakers left - all 70 and over. definitely no more than 6 - maybe fewer.

            and over the past couple of years, they have actually achieved at least semi-fluency with some children, if not full fluency with a few. it has been truly a model program and one of the most successful i know of in this part of the US, if not the most successful.

            the problem with them losing their funding now is that it's entirely possible by the time the next round of funding comes through for them, there will be no native speakers left.

            i am not pleased.

            It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

            by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:35:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  watch for this example of respect for language (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Part of Shakespeare in Washington DC is
              a production from Perseverance Theatre (Juneau Alaska) in which much of the dialog is spoken in Tlingit.  

              The Scottish clan names are replaced with Alaskan Native house names.


              Commuting is a waste of time and energy. Worse is trucking lettuce from the Imperial Valley of California to the Hudson River Valley of New York.

              by RosyFinch on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:57:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  that said ... (0+ / 0-)

            point taken

            It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

            by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:38:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Pay-go rules (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xan, A Siegel

        An example of shifting priorities, within one agency, that could yield a few $$ without any new appropriations.

        Congressional action:  Simple.  Just mandate the funds go for energy improvements instead of "marriage protection".

        Another good solar thing:  Our little remote rural towns have small volunteer fire departments.  Good passive solar would be enough to so the tanker trucks could be kept full of water throughout the winter without danger of freezing.  Some people lose everything because their fire departments are too poor to heat, and can't respond quicky enough because they have to fill the tank as part of their response.

        I can envisage something like the REA that first got electricity into rural areas.  Where the public buildings all get solar collectors to reduce cost to the taxpayers henceforth, and even feed the grid in some cases: like the volunteer fire departments, national Guard armories, schools, community centers, stuff like that.  New construction gets passive solar and other efficiency measures mandated, plus a program of retrofits.

        Not cheap, certainly.  In the short run, but actually quite cost efficient in the long run.  The money on the war's already spent.  But I can't help thinking that half a trillion (even much less than that!) could have the effect of rendering oil much less important in the world economy.  And with that, the need for wars over strategic areas would be greatly reduced.  And, of course, those strategic places always seem to be strategic exactly because of oil

        There's also the little matter of building codes.  While those are somewhat local, there's a lot that goes on national standard.  Surely there'd be room for the Congress to meddle a little in the national aspect of the code.  Particularly for larger buildings.

        •  One bill concept to develop ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xan, cookiebear, means are the ends

          "DEFENDING OUR HOMES: CONTINUITY OF POWER ACT" for grants across the country for combined renewable power/energy efficient techology small projects to provide assured power, even in the face of catastrophe (manmade or natural).  

          What you describe seems to make sense.

          Now, building codes ... absolutely a drive to standards as infrastructure inefficiencies are a huge overhead cost on the society.

          Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

          by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:41:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  building codes ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel

            ... would be extremely unpopular here and would sink Energy for America in these parts

            one reason this area remains liveable for so many very impoverished people is because there are no building codes, except in certain circumstances - can't remember exactly how it works, but some coding was put in place to keep developers out, which was a smart move

            many people here build their own homes by themselves and with the help of neighbors and family members. the ones i've had work on my place do absolutely excellent work and build to code even though they don't have to

            if codes were enforced, however, these people would no longer be able to afford to live here. bear in mind, these are virtually ancestral homes for many people here, as forebears were driven here on Trail of Tears or arrived preceding the Trail of Tears because they saw what was happening.

            It's the planet, stupid. - Fishoutofwater

            by cookiebear on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 11:02:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Earthships always seemed like they (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldjohnbrown, A Siegel

      would be a good fit for various tribes in their particular locations. Earthships use lots of recycled free materials and labor, and make good use of passive solar and other energy-saving design principles.

      Of course, there are other great alternative building ideas, such as straw bale architecture, etc, which work best in different areas.

      Dream Green Home has info on lots of different types of alternative buildings, including Earthships

      Of course, the internet is a rich source of more info!

  •  I can work a small angle (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, atdnext, A Siegel

    Marty Meehan is my congressman, and he's got a decent record on energy/environmental issues.

    I'll establish some contact(s) in his district and Capital Hill offices to specifically promote Energize America, and try to get some support and interest from him in this effort.

  •  Jerome, with regard to nuclear power (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atdnext, A Siegel, Turbonerd, GrySovCob

    I have been following energy issues with increasing interest over the past year, thanks in large part to following your posts here on Kos and links to places you have recommended.  

    I am an engineer, but not one specializing in nuclear power.  However, my analysis of all the information I have been collecting indicates that nuclear will very likely need to play a very significant role in powering modern industrial society in a post fossil fuel world.  

    We must keep in mind it is not just all about us in the West: there are billions of people aspiring to a high living standard and their power needs will be massive.  On this basis, the world needs much MORE power to address these needs, not less, and it must not come from fossil carbon sources.  I'm skeptical that replacing current fossil fuel consumption here while meeting ramping energy demand elsewhere in the world can be done with renewables alone.  The size of the problem is beyond massive, and nuclear is the most concentrated form of energy available to us, by a factor of 10,000,000 over combustion.

    I have been examining new nuclear technologies under the Gen IV initiative.  They seem extremely exciting and address much of the concerns of proliferation, sustainability and waste.  If my skepticism about an all renewable future is well founded, we'll need the BEST nuclear technology possible.  

    From your EA document (draft V):

    The New Nuclear Power Demonstration Project will provide for fast-track construction and operation of a single, privately-financed, `next-generation' nuclear reactor - assuming private financing can be secured.  The Department of Energy, working with the Department of Defense, the nuclear power industry, and the various municipalities interested, will determine the size, location and technology to be used, with groundbreaking to be scheduled no later than 1 January 2009.

    How does this mesh with the existing GenIV initiative and the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative?  They have several different technology tracks under investigation, six to be precise, each with various strengths and weaknesses, with technology ready for possible deployment in the 2015-2025 timeframe.  If we are really entering peak oil sooner rather than later, I suggest it would be wise to fast track these research efforts.  

    That will require BIG public investment before the private sector can start building commercial reactors that will deliver on the promises of Gen IV systems.  I think the emphasis on private funding for next generation nuclear plants might be a little unrealistic given the financial risks of new technology deployments.  The market will surely want to stick with what it knows best, with the exception perhaps of tweaks here and there.  I can't see wholesale technology changes coming from private investment in this sector.

    We should be pulling out all the stops to make sure the best nuclear technology is available with significant increases in public R & D so it will be ready sooner rather than later.  

    The cash redirected from a few weeks of the war in Iraq would probably take care of the costs of a massive R&D ramp-up, including demonstration reactors.

    The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

    by mojo workin on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 08:12:23 AM PST

    •  Nuclear doesn't need additional subsidy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Over the past sixty years, numerous countries have put a lot of public money into nuclear power generation not to mention adoption of legislation to absolve companies of liability for low probability but catastrophic events.

      Certainly increased nuclear generation would make big inroads on coal combustion, but it would have little impact in the near or even medium term on oil (barring huge early success of the nuclear to hydrogen efforts you mention).  Nuclear also further reinforces a centralized T&D system rather than distributed generation which would tend to encourage renewables and solar in particular.

      Bring in the hazards of nuclear technology (low probability high impact scenarios like 3MI and Chernobyl, dirty bombs, etc...), mine tailings and waste disposal, and nuclear isn't such a great bet.  True the carbon footprint is nice but it comes at a price.

      •  I see research with long-term goals (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of national strategic interest being something entirely suitable for public funding.  Once the technology is proven, then throw it open to commercial interests to finance, build and run.  The Gen IV initiative is a big leap in terms of commercial reactor designs.  

        Why is this important:

        • increase efficiency of Uranium usage by a factor of 100, hence waste volume reduced by equivalent factor
        • eliminate the need for the worst / longest lived transuranic isotopes to ever leave the site
        • fuel cycle leaves no direct way to use fuel metals in nuclear weapons
        • transuranic elements "burned" in the reactor removing the long half-life elements from the waste cycle leaving wastes that are a much shorter-term hazard (few hundred years at 1/100th the volume for unit power produced)

        Such technology would make nuclear sustainable, slash waste issues and address proliferation concerns while providing a secure carbon-free source of energy.  I think those goals are of vital national interest.

        Of course this isn't a quick fix, we're looking at 2-3 decades here.  Conservation, efficiency and structural changes in our economy, proven renewables technologies are short term imperatives.  But, time has a way of moving quickly.  If we make a serious effort now on the R&D side, a safe, sustainable nuclear option will be available.  I'm betting we're going to need it.  

        The intrinsic nature of Power is such that those who seek it most are least qualified to wield it.

        by mojo workin on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:54:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  More money has been put into other things (0+ / 0-)

        If you compare nuclear subsidies to every other energy source (adjusted for power generated of course) nuclear by far is the least subsidized, from research to generation subsidies.

        This proposal serves my point, tax credits (read:subsidies) for wind and solar, while the only mention of nuclear is a very loosely worded proposition that private industry should take over nuclear R&D on a minute scale, so it will be forced to operate without government intervention (or obligation).

        Thus, I call bullshit.

        •  If nuclear is commercial, why subsidize? (0+ / 0-)

          Let's see your data.

          Nuclear is the source of a lot of current electricity supply. True. So, why should it receive any subsidy at all? Similar to coal and to oil/gasoline for transport fuels; these are established technologies and the price should be market driven.  These technologies have been the recipient of decades of government subsidy, both direct and both the power sector and in military propulsion applications.

          If six decades of subsidy aren't enough for nuclear, what is?

          I'd like to see your data on subsidies.  What is included as subsidy and what is not?

          Yes, tax credits are a form of subsidization, but they are less efficient at encouraging innovation and project development than a true subsidy would be: to take advantage of a tax credit, you have to have taxable income, something that start-ups usually do not have a lot of.

          •  Subsidy data (0+ / 0-)

            As per your request.


            Note that nuclear power has a negative number with regards to disbursements.  This is due to utilities DONATING money to the government in accordance with he Price-Anderson act in order to form the much talked about nuclear insurance pool.  The pool currently totals roughly 9 billion dollars, the worst American nuclear accident, TMI, cost 70 million dollars total in cleanup, therefore the utilities have more than enough leeway for the worst imaginable scenarios.

            Also note that taxation and market adjustment subsidies are nonexistent.  There is no other power source that can claim that.

            Therefore my claim holds that nuclear is not over subsidized, on the contrary, it is under subsidized in comparison.

            •  Your data is simply fun with numbers... (0+ / 0-)

              First, comparison of current generation with R&D spending is backwards way to look at things.  The whole point of R&D is to develop longer range technologies that aren't commercially viable. Mature industries should be pursuing and funding their own research.  

              Second, why are individual nuclear technologies separated out? Don't like the way it looks for your argument when they are all in one bar?

              How is a funding an insurance pool mandated by gov't a "donation"?

              I think your imagination is pretty limited.  $9B would get wiped out pretty damned quickly if there was a problem at Indian Point...which isn't so far fetched. Still the worst safety rating in the country. Wasn't it last spring that they discovered serious erosion in the containment vessel after missing it in years of prior inspections?

              Looks like your definition of subsidy includes only hard dollars...if that.  Does your definition of subsidy include:

              Federal nuclear waste containment facility development costs?
              Price Anderson limitations on liability for nuclear disasters?
              Nuclear inspection costs?
              Provision of security for nuclear sites and spent fuel?
              Health impacts of pollution from coal and oil combustion?
              Nuclear sub and carrier technology development expenditures?
              NRC inspection costs? Fed/state/local emergency planning costs?

              Care to explain why the nations highest utility rates roughly align with locations that have installed or sought to install nuclear?  Long Island, New's not just because of resource endowments. It's because utilities get guaranteed rate of return on capital.  High capital intensity yields large gross return. Highest capital intensity? Nuclear...

              •  Corrections: (0+ / 0-)

                First, comparison of current generation with R&D spending is backwards way to look at things.  The whole point of R&D is to develop longer range technologies that aren't commercially viable. Mature industries should be pursuing and funding their own research.  

                Even though it focuses on R&D, from the get go it shows that R&D is only a small part, 20%, of the whole subsidies arena.

                How is a funding an insurance pool mandated by gov't a "donation"?

                You are right, I should call it a tax.  Not only are they mandated to fund that government pool, but they are also mandated to take out private insurance to the maximum extent possible.

                Second, why are individual nuclear technologies separated out? Don't like the way it looks for your argument when they are all in one bar?

                They are no more spread out than renewable technologies.  If you like you can add them in your head and it is still less than renewables per capita of generation.

                I think your imagination is pretty limited.  $9B would get wiped out pretty damned quickly if there was a problem at Indian Point...which isn't so far fetched. Still the worst safety rating in the country. Wasn't it last spring that they discovered serious erosion in the containment vessel after missing it in years of prior inspections?

                That was Davis-Besse, and once again you severely overstate the costs involved.  TMI was the complete and total loss of a whole reactor, the worst case scenario, and only cost 70 million.

                Looks like your definition of subsidy includes only hard dollars...if that.  Does your definition of subsidy include:

                Federal nuclear waste containment facility development costs?
                Price Anderson limitations on liability for nuclear disasters?
                Nuclear inspection costs?
                Provision of security for nuclear sites and spent fuel?
                Health impacts of pollution from coal and oil combustion?
                Nuclear sub and carrier technology development expenditures?
                NRC inspection costs? Fed/state/local emergency planning costs?

                Everything but military stuff.  That is DoD, completely and totally seperate from DoE and civilian nuclear power.  They do all their own research and everything.

                Care to explain why the nations highest utility rates roughly align with locations that have installed or sought to install nuclear?  Long Island, New's not just because of resource endowments. It's because utilities get guaranteed rate of return on capital.  High capital intensity yields large gross return. Highest capital intensity? Nuclear...

                That is an outright false statement.  Here is a post about the electricity composition and prices of Chicago, one of the cheapest cities for power in the US.  Nuclear plants recover their capital in about a decade after first generation, and they have proven to be much longer lived than that, therefore the capital costs are fully mitigated.

                It is irrelevant for determining the future anyway, because the NRC has moved over to the French system of reactor approval, which severly cuts capital costs by standardizing designs allowing for modular building.

                •  Nuclear risks and safety records... (0+ / 0-)

                  Check out the safety incidents at Indian Point.

                  Not so reassuring that cracks in cooling water tubes led to shutdown while reactor was at 100% power...

                  As for overstating costs, I think we have very different views about damage assessments. You seem to feel that only costs incurred by the facility are relevant.  Housing in Westchester is among the most expensive in the country, $1M homes are very common, which many, if not most, above $400k.  If these homes were to be impacted, much less emptied, your $9B fund would be vaporized pretty quickly. And that's dollar costs, not people.

                  There is an active fault in the area (this fault is one reason that the Hudson flows where it does). As a child, geologic tremors once woke me up.  

                  You've talked about Chicago, how about NH? How about VT? How about Long Island?

                  So, you maintain that your subsidy assessment accounts for permanent Coast Guard cutter presence in the Hudson off Indian Point? Development of the WIPP in Nevada?

                  You maintain that the military is separate.  That's part of my point, why should that be considered separate? Military spends on nukes for propulsion, that money flows into nuke R&D. QED.

                  •  DoD Research =/= DoE Research (0+ / 0-)

                    It gets me kind of peeved sometimes, but the DoD hardly ever shares their reactor research with the DoE anymore.  They helped make the first LWRs back in the 50's but that was about it.

                    The tube you have cited is in the steam generator, a non-nuclear component of the reactor system and a common component in large scale plants.  I don't feel that demonstrates any particular danger of nuclear in particular.

                    With regards to utility costs, the burden of proof is on you.  I have proved my point that nuclear results in very low utility bills, citing Chicago, it would be a waste of my time to convince you further unless you can come up with contradictory evidence rather than opinion.

                    The rest is speculation and opinion, of which I don't think is worth the effort of response.

  •  Great News (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, atdnext, A Siegel, Turbonerd

    Yes, I have relentlessly promoted this plan.  

    One point I think should be made that will greatly help a media effort...until someone points out otherwise, I would say this is arguably the first open source policy document created that has a chance of actually becoming policy, in which case it has extraordinary historical significance.

    I am in.  

  •  I'll mention it to my Congresscritter's field rep (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, A Siegel

    I'll probably see a field rep for my fabulous Rep. Loretta Sanchez tonight at OC Drinking Liberally. I would like to take local action to bring our nation into the 21st century.

    We need a clean energy future. We need action on climate change, and we need new jobs for our youth. I hope Loretta sees how this is a win-win situtation for all of us.

    : )

    Don't blame us... We're keeping California blue at Calitics!

    by atdnext on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 08:13:33 AM PST

  •  excellent progress, and my two cents (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, cookiebear, HeyMikey, A Siegel, RosyFinch

    I joined dkos after energize america was written. I am 100% behind goals but wish more input like that offered by Land of Enchantment (above) would be incorporated as well as some of my own.

    Making it a goal specific-bullet instead of technology or tactic specific bullet would help.  20 million solar roofs would reduce electricity demand, possibly eliminating some of the worst polluting coal plants in existence.  

    If you position it as the "harness the sun act" you can incorporate the X million solar roofs, X million solar thermal hot water pre-heaters, X million passive solar technology projects, etc.  You can also require that local planning and zoning authorities mandate passive solar techniques in all new construction.  (Simply orienting one of the building's largest roof surfaces on an east-west axis (facing south) would make any subsequent solar roof collection system (photovoltaic or thermal) that much more efficient, naturally enable passive solar walls, etc.)

    Federal Net Metering is a great idea, but here's another catch (and I'm repeating a point I've made in my first diary and several comments):

    Net Metering requires that the building owner/operator or business renting it has the expertise and the "bandwidth" to initiate design and construction of the solar photovoltaic plant.  Regulations make it very difficult for entrepreneurs to rent roof space on big, flat commercial roofs, build solar generation plants, sell power to the building occupant/user (at a price less than peak utility pricing) and the excess to the grid at a profit.  Getting licensed as a public utility is arduous, but required for that scenario.  A solar electric reseller definition, fast-track approval process, or something similar would facilitate investment and adoption.
    I'm also not opposed at all to incentives for existing utilities to install and maintain solar plants on flat commercial roofs.  They have expertise with the grid, the position to purchase components in bulk, maintenance equipment, etc.

    It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

    by netguyct on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 08:25:26 AM PST

    •  Solar entrepreneur alternative. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xan, A Siegel, netguyct

      Understand, I suggest this in addition to the red-tape-cutting you propose -- not instead of.

      Allow the big utilities to figure into their rate base 90% of investment in coal, 97% of investment in natural gas, 100% of investment in nuclear, and 103% of investment in green power (solar, wind, biomass, etc.). Would they not be knocking on every homeowner's door tomorrow, asking permission to put solar panels on the roof and a windmill in the back yard?

      -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 10:07:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xan, Asinus Asinum Fricat, A Siegel

    look for Energize America diaries and add info where I can. No expertise in drafting legislation, but am very interested in promoting the switch to green and renewables.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."-George Orwell

    by Babsnc on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 08:44:29 AM PST

  •  Renewable Portfolio Standards, count me in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Asinus Asinum Fricat, A Siegel

    I've done quite a bit of work on RPS standards over the past 5 years, largely from the REC market angle.  I'd be more than interested in getting involved on that front.

  •  Jerome, big favor to ask (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cookiebear, A Siegel, kaaterskill

    We can talk about the future here, but big subsidies are under way for coal. The Federal Railroad Admin (FRA) in the next few months will likely aprove the largest loan in US history to a private company, the DM&E Railroad, to build a new railroad out of the coal fields of Wyoming to make coal cheaper. There's a huge grassroots movement in the midwest fighting this. But it needs more prominence in MSM. Tons of information is here for background.
    The first district of MN blog, bluestemprairie, has also done a lot of coverage. Any notice of this project would be much appreciated.

  •  Okay, done. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    Info and links sent to my congressguy (David Wu) and senators. I expect Gordon Smith will jump right on supporting EA. And then jump off again tomorrow.

    Thanks for all you EA people are doing.

  •  I have no experience drafting legislation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    but I would be happy to write some letters or give a little money to an Energize America PAC if needed.

    This is great, who could have imagined 5 years ago that bloggers would be DRAFTING LEGISLATION FOR CONGRESS?  Amazing, this movement is getting bigger by the day.

  •  FYI (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, RosyFinch

    Citizenrē REnU

    This is a program getting off the ground that puts solar panels on homes, then the homeowner pays the company for the electricity generated at current rates. You can have a contract of 25 years and still pay current rates. Saves on up-front costs and even more importantly, upfront knowledge.

    Happy the man and happy he alone--he who can call today his own ... John Dryden

    by ohiolibrarian on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:15:56 AM PST

  •  Your RAIL policy proposals are TERRIBLE. (5+ / 0-)

    (1) Rail infrastructure -- tracks, overhead lines, signals, right-of-way -- NEEDS to be government-funded, just like highways.  This is a serious "thumb on the scales" causing trucks and cars to be used more heavily than trains.

    Some simple policy proposals:

    • Track facilities will be upgraded to "high-speed" standards along all the  existing designated high-speed corridors at federal government expense.  Immediately.
    • The federal government will establish a system parallel to the Interstate Highway funding system, and funded at the same rates, for owning, maintaining, and upgrading rail lines of national importance.
    • The federal government will encourage state governments to create state rail departments, parallel to and as well funded as their highway departments, to do the same thing for rail line of state importance.

    (2) Private passenger trains for the masses are not going to happen; they don't exist anywhere in the world.  Instead, the government should design a train system -- determining how many trains run to each location, and how often, and the approximate price -- and pay private companies to actually operate the trains.  This system works fairly effectively in a lot of countries.

    Policy proposal:

    • Fund Amtrak with a fixed subsidy rate per passenger-mile.  With track maintenance taken off its hands, this shouldn't need to be that high, actually.

    (3) There's nothing in the proposal to support commuter rail or urban rail mass transit systems.  This part is SO TRIVIAL to do that it should be done YESTERDAY.

    The policy proposal:

    • Guarantee that all investments in state or city rail-based mass transit systems are given the same share of federal funding as highway investments and investments in bus systems.  Guarantee that the federal funding approval process evaluates highway and rail transit systems in competition with each other, using equally strict/lax value-for-money criteria.  (Neither of these things are the case now.)

    Ending the discrimination against rail in the federal funding process will cause commuter rail and urban rail to boom, which they are already in the process of doing.

    -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Execute!

    by neroden on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:41:53 AM PST

    •  Looking forward to seeing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      something develop from you and johnnygunn ... at least from my part, as stated elsewhere, rail is far from my forte/area of expertise.  

      If you can develop something that stands up to, gains support within this community, engaged with the EA2020 team, TREMENDOUS ...

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 09:49:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rail Proposals (5+ / 0-)

        As a regular commuter rail user and participant/advocate for increased railroading in the transportation mix, as well as a regular reader and participant in "" a forum for rail enthusiasts, I am more than willing to step up to the plate in assisting with developing policy proposals for improved passenger and freight railroads.

        The myriad benefits of rail vs auto, trucks and short haul airplane travel are too hard to pass up.

        Also check out the Midwest high speed rail website, it is chock full of good proposals for railroads and high speed passenger rail in particular. It also has some good bullet points emphasizing the advantages of trains.

        •  PLEASE ... PLEASE ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Bring in this expertise ... and, even, work this with at the same time as DailyKos.  (Through Energize America's initial development, many of the diaries were posted in multiple blog environments to elicit inputs from diverse communities.)

          Personally, I felt we were well-intentioned re railroads but ... but ... but ... certainly know that that is one arena were I have no special knowledge/concepts.

          Thus, looking forward to your engagement -- check out my e-mail via my DailyKos homepage.

          Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

          by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:11:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Other sources (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Alan from Big Easy posts regularly on the Oil Drum, and has considerable rail expertise, particularly in light rail/interurbans and electrified rail. You may want to look him up on that site. He also has an article on the light rail website. Also see my diary

            here for more information and links on the advantages of trains.

            I'll certainly be in touch.

            By the way, I am not 100% in support of every single railroad improvement. IMHO, the DMandE coal train loan guarantee proposal stinks. Even the railroad unions are against it. I can think of far better things to expend 2.3 bn on (that would pay for all of the current proposed improvements to Metra, for one thing).

        •  rail "ferry" -a little geographically specific.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Sitting in i95 traffic on more than one occaision, with thousands of trucks, next to Amtrak / Metro North tracks in connecticut, I wondered about the viability of a drive-on, drive-off rail ferry for trucks...
          originating on the NJ Tpke, bypassing the George Washington Bridge, the Cross Bronx Expressway, lower fairfield county (notoriously congested and backed up) and terminating in Bridgeport or the New Haven Terminal area.

          If the cost is the same as the few NJ Tpke tolls and GWB tolls avoided and the time on the rail ferry counted towards required rest periods, i thought there might be selling points for avoiding congestion.

          The maximum truck length equals or is less than the longest flatcars.  The drive-on/off train assembly yard consists of platforms and low tech hydraulically activated rail car stabilizers extending from the platforms.   Same is true for truck stabilization on the flatcars.

          for the enthusiast up on the Amtrak infrastructure, it might be worth exploring....
          Thousands of trucks drive the NJ Tpke up through CT every day.   it might be applicable in other areas as well...
          just wanted to put it "out there"

          It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

          by netguyct on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 11:34:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  New York State (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    with Spitzer as governor would likely be an important supporter - the big push is always for jobs in upstate areas and I think that even with Pataki as governor there was recognition that alternative energy sources could be a big provider of jobs.

    State University of New York (SUNY) at Canton (way upstate - near where they're getting snow measured in feet this week) has a new Alternative and Renewable Energy Applications program (offering a Bachelor of Science degree) as part of their School of Engineering.

    Get NYS and SUNY behind EA2020 and you'd have a couple pretty strong advocates I'd say...

  •  My represenative Jay Insley.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    Has been active on energy issues and I would be happy to contact him about this.

    What would be the best "one link" to send him to in order to get started?

    Is the one?

  •  Cong. David Scott, GA-13. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    I live in his district and will contact him about EA.

    Great work!!!!

    -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 10:41:02 AM PST

  •  IT Volunteer (0+ / 0-)

    I have some IT skills I could contribute somewhat part time if there is need for such.  My email is in my profile if needed.

    We're all just monkeys burning in hell.

    by smokeymonkey on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 10:42:26 AM PST

  •  I would be interested (0+ / 0-)

    I would be interested in helping.  I would be particularly interested in something related to solar power or the neighborhood power idea.  I have been involved in various state and federal environmental legislative efforts over the past 20 years.  My background is in law and chemical engineering.  

    Who am I supposed to contact?

  •  GHG usage labelling on all appliances... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Siegel

    just thought of this and it might belong somewhere in EA2020.. or not...

    I suggest that appliance labels be required to include the corresponding pounds of greenhouse gasses emitted during the generation of the electricity used in the annual cost range figures.

    Instead of "another $100 bucks per year? ahh so what?" the consumer's question becomes "another 3000 lbs of CO2 if I buy this one?!?!"  

    It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

    by netguyct on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 11:06:58 AM PST

    •  GHG emissions req'd on every utility bill... (0+ / 0-)

      now that I'm thinking about it.

      "The electricity you used this billing period accounted for X pounds of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere"


      170 gallons of #2 heating oil were used since your last fill.  Your oil-burning systems released 3805.28 pounds of CO2 since your last fill.

      would keep it front and center, and the concerned able to measure their real impact in near-real time.

      It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

      by netguyct on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 12:18:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Solar Car for personal transportation? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see anything here about personal transportation. I don't think Americans will give up their cars anytime soon. How about incentives for people to switch to solar cars?

    Here's a video of a local guy here in Maine who's built a pretty decent working prototype of a personal solar car. It goes like hell (I've ridden in it). I think this could help since, what, 1/8 of the world's petroleum is going to American transportation?

    Infinity Miles Per Gallon: Art Haines and the Solar Car

    Our republic is in danger.

    by thinkdouble on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 11:15:39 AM PST

    •  Actually -- ACT 1 (0+ / 0-)

      of EA2020 was directly personal transportation, with a technology-neutral feebate program.

      If we were writing clean-slate, over-all package, today, believe that we would include a serious discussion of PHEVs.

      But, we have not been asked (so far) to engage on personal vehicles.

      Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

      by A Siegel on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 11:21:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I would be happy to help (0+ / 0-)

    have PhD in Chem Eng, MS Mat Sci as well as industrial experience - can do all sorts of calculations and computer modeling.  Can't work full time though. Please let me know!

  •  Need a wider array of suggestions: here are some (0+ / 0-)

    Re the set of suggestions for Energize America, I deeply approve, of course.  We must lead the way to energy independence, as part of a general return to policies that are friendly to science, technology, and an ambitious attitude of problem-solving.

    Still, I think the net for fresh ideas needs to be cast much wider.
    Here's my own list:

    Notable would be creation of the office of Inspector General of the United States (IGUS) removing all of the departmental inspectors general from under the thumb of political appointees, in every agency and department.  

    Sharing hope for a new era.

    David Brin, author of The Postman and The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?

    Things to repeat: "CITOKATE -- Criticism Is The Only Known Antidote to Error." "IAAMOAC -- I Am A Member of a Civilization"

    by David Brin on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 12:21:14 PM PST

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