Monday, June 23, 2008

Jimmy Carter Was Right 30 Years Ago

With all the political clap-trap and foo-fa being dumped on the American public recently regarding our (non-existent) energy policy and proposed solutions for lowering oil prices and increasing oil availability, it might be time to actually READ President Jimmy Carter's 1977 energy speech from (right click on this post title, or go Here to watch and listen to Carter's speech).

To set an example, in 1979 Carter had solar panels installed on the roof of the Whitehouse's West Wing to heat water for the staff eating area.

When roof repair was done on the West Wing's roof in 1986, they were removed and President Regan did not have them reinstalled. Into storage they went.

In 1990, actress Glen Close helped pay for the panels' refurbishing, and they were subsequently installed at Unity College near Bangor, Maine to heat water in the College's cafeteria. Here they remain to this day, though they are now inoperable. Their future destination is undecided.

While the statistics from the Carter speech have changed--worsened--since his 1977 speech, the principles hold true today with the exception of his suggested reliance on coal.

Perhaps when gas gets to $6.00/gallon Americans will realize that we are in a position where we absolutely must develop a progressive energy policy for this country that does not rely on nuclear power or petroleum. There is NO oil shortage, though we have passed peak levels. But the remaining oil reserves known are more expensive and much more difficult to extract, and certainly more controversial.

So instead of relying on carbon into the future, it is time we subsidize clean energy and STOP subsidizing dirty energy. Oil companies, showing their highest profits ever, do NOT need subsidies, nor does the nuclear industry. But other clean industries DO.

Lets begin again, aggressively, to separate the wheat from the chaff and get on with the serious job of providing energy into the future. If we don't, we will continue to be involved in resource wars of all kinds in many locations into the foreseeable future. It is an investment we cannot afford, morally or economically, to ignore.