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Good Energy Policy Begins With Asking Good Questions

The Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, The 2030 Challenge, The Apollo Alliance, The Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement...there are so many programs with great sounding names underway. But the only thing more damaging than great sounding programs that don’t really address our problems is the widespread belief that we are actually dealing with our problems, when we aren’t.

It’s getting pretty late in the game to claim that we still don’t understand the energy game. Let’s ditch the whole conversation about “renewables” and “carbon” and start talking about local, independent businesses providing energy from fuels that we harvest locally. That, more than any great sounding program, will get us where we need to go.

The full commentary is posted here.

News Stories this week:

Crude Oil Prices Fall on Global Economic Slowdown
Al Gore’s Energy Plan Includes Building Nuclear Power
Santa Fe to Increase Use of Coal and Nuclear Power

Download (.m4v, 26MB)


Nationalize the Grid, and Empower Local Companies to Build Solar

Ten years ago, in 1998, New Mexico’s largest investor-owned utility, PNM, solicited bids to build a 5 megawatt solar electric power plant. Had the project gone forward, it would have been the world’s largest operating solar-electric power plant. But the project was stopped when 28 small solar companies in New Mexico, including my own, filed an objection.

Now, ten years later, investor-owned utilities are contemplating another solar power plant – this one about 20-times the size of the last one. It’s too early to tell whether the same mischief will take place, but we can say with certainty that this project is based on the same, poor premise of putting investor-owned utilities in control of renewable energy.

The full commentary is posted here

News Stories This Week:
Crude Oil Prices Fall as U.S. Consumption Declines
Depletion-Tax Policies Need to be Strengthened
Utilities in New Mexico Seek Solar Power

Download (.m4v, 30MB)


Imagine a Government Promoting Local Self-Reliance in Energy

Even the presidential candidates, given a national stage every day to present a new platform on energy, have not taken the opportunity to put forth ideas on the scale needed to address the energy crisis in this country. So here’s a fresh perspective: rather than trying to create an energy supply that can sustain our economy, let’s instead create an economy that can be sustained by our energy supply.

Imagine unleashing the awesome power of government on a set of policies and programs that promote community self-reliance in food and energy, putting an end to the perverse incentives and programs that have created the least efficient, most polluting, energy and food system the world has ever known. Imagining a government like this – one that works in the public interest – is imagining a revolution that is long overdue.

News Stories This Week:
IEA: We Are Clearly in the Third Oil Price Shock
Record High Prices for Crude, Gasoline, and Natural Gas
Solar Electricity Still Twice the Cost of the Dirty Stuff
DOE Announces $30.5 Billion in Loan Guarantees - Mostly for Nukes

Download (.m4v, 29MB)


Invest Two-Trillion a Year in Dirty Energy? That's Insane!

Doing the same thing over and over again, and each time expecting to get a different result, has frequently been used to define the word “insanity”. If we accept this definition, then members of congress and utility regulators must be insane.

Holding forty hearings on oil prices, taking testimony from the same oil company spokespersons and their highly-paid shills, and expecting to gain new insight, is insane. This, while scores of real academics and nonprofit institutions perfect decades of research on oil decline and their proposals for an orderly phase-out of petroleum, and continue to go unheard.

News Stories this Week:
Congress Holds Yet Another Hearing on High Oil Prices
Greenwashing at Florida Power and Light Exposed  

Download (.m4v, 28MB)


The Energy Revolution: Retaking Control with Local Food and Fuel

The greatest mistake of industrializing our food and energy systems was that it put our fate in the hands of a few giant corporations. It worked for awhile, but clearly its time has passed and it's time for an energy revolution. In a revolution, power is retaken from the few, and redistributed to the many. For that, we need to return to local food and local fuels.

News Stories:
BP Says Crude Production is Falling, Demand Rising
Albuquerque Asks for Reconsideration of PNM Rate Case
Ethanol: DOE Weighs In on "Food vs. Fuel" Debate

Download (.m4v, 25MB)