Saturday, May 23, 2009

Alternative energy alone won't meet US needs

Interesting perspective: "Red, white & blue jobs" vs. "Green jobs". How about a discussion on how to solve our energy problems from a bi-partisan perspective?

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

States defer to Obama on energy

A recent report (starting on page 20) outlines the current situation and states' perception of what is to be done in energy.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"It begins with Energy"

President Obama's speech, tonight.

"We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea.

Well I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders – and I know you don’t either. It is time for America to lead again.

Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation’s supply of renewable energy in the next three years. We have also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history – an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine, science, and technology.

We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.

But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America."

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Politics trumps logic

Unfortunately, the Senate (& compromise) versions got rid of the $2 billion to accelerate technologies and instead put in lots more $s (good news) for pet projects (bad news). It seems politicians think they can "pick winners" better than scientist, engineers and entrepreneurs. Can you say "ethanol"? When will it end?

House version: "$2,000,000,000 shall be for expenses necessary for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration and deployment activities, to accelerate the development of technologies..." (i.e., open-ended as to what might actually work!)

Compromise version: "That $2,000,000,000 shall be available for grants for the manufacturing of advanced batteries and components..." (
i.e., Closed-ended: "Do thus and so.")

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Energy bill contains $s for technology acceleration!

After years (yes, years) of writing letters to not only Oregon's delegation but also to the presidential candidates (Obama, McCain, Clinton, others) - about the need to "mind the gap": what's in between research and dirt-work, the American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009
has $2 billion for technology acceleration (page 62 of the proposed bill): "$2,000,000,000 shall be for expenses necessary for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration and deployment activities, to accelerate the development of technologies..."

Perhaps Oregon's delegation will ensure NXergy gains a portion of that for accelerating technologies that the energy industry can use to meet RPS and Cap & Trade requirements, let alone the coming electric-vehicle "energy shifting" that will be occurring.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

California increases RPS from 20% to 33%

On November 17, 2008, Governor Schwarzenegger signed Executive Order S-14-08, revising California's existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) upward to require all retail sellers of electricity to serve 33% of their load from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Although this is good news from a renewable energy perspective, changing things mid-stream is not ethical, and will cause all kinds of problems. It's similar to having the wind investment tax credit expire every year. Makes no sense. We need to set fixed-requirements, then let the prepar for, and then market deal with it. In a logical, planned manner!

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Alternative energy stocks advance.

Alternative energy stocks advance.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Great interivew about the future of energy

Charlie Rose interviewed Charlie Maxwell and Daniel Yergin about the future of energy. If you are seriously interested in this topic, it is worth the time to watch!

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Obama's Impact on Green-tech

The political and investment environment are shaping up to be just right for investments into green-technology acceleration.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Logic ahead of politics? This just in!

President elect Obama indicates (because of having to choose his priorities) that he is more interested in supporting renewable energy (The Cause) than he is paying to deal with climate change (The Effect), that he may need to focus limited resources on funding renewable energy.

This is a GREAT (tough) decision, and application of real-world financial reality. Bravo!

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!"


Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Death of Capitalism?

Or... how a brief economic history informs our current economic situation

To be clear, I am a free-market, capitalist and believe very strongly that the market knows better than any government could. However, a few things have transpired that concern me greatly, and should bring pause to others:

[1] In response to the banking failures of 1929, two acts of Congress came to pass: the Glass-Steagall Act and Banking Act of 1935, which prohibited banks from investing and limited interest rates among other things.

In March of 1980, Regulation Q (from that time period) was repealed. The "Savings & Loan Crisis" ensued. (Ronald Reagan was president.)

[2] In 1999, other provisions prohibiting bank holding companies from owning other financial companies were repealed. Robert Kuttner (co-founder The American Prospect) has criticized the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act as contributing to the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis. (In 1999, Bill Clinton was president.)

[3] The Bretton-Woods system of 1944 provided that the United States would maintain the dollar value of gold at $35 and the other national central banks would maintain the dollar value of their currencies. If all countries were fixed to the dollar and the dollar was fixed to gold, the fixed exchange-rate system was anchored to gold, a design that prevented monetary inflation.

In 1973 the Bretton Woods Agreement was effectively disbanded and gold increased to $140 an ounce. Inflation became rampant and in fact, stagflation (recession and inflation - the worst of both worlds) came into being. (Richard Nixon was president.)

[4] In 1944, the Bretton Woods Agreements took the U.S. Dollar off the gold standard. A major cause of oil (and gold) inflation has to do with the precipitously falling dollar - due in no small part on how our U.S. economy has been led (read Government spending). Or mis-led. By both democrats and republicans alike.

[5] In the strong economy of the 1950s and 1960s, we had utilities who were encouraged to find ever-more profitable ways to reduce energy costs. Passing a portion on to consumers while being allowed to keep some of it (in case we forget, they are called profits.). Now we seem to discourage this behavior. Since the 1973 oil embargo, we have viewed oil companies as the bad guys, and taxed their "excess" profits. The unintended consequence of this is that they did not invest as they could have, ramping up our dependence on foreign oil resulting in much higher gas prices.

[6] In the strong economy of the 1950s and 1960s we had smaller budget deficits, Republicans weren't in cahoots with Democrats (in spending our hard-earned $s), nor were they spending on hundred-million $ bridges to nowhere. Or multi-billion $s no-exit-strategy wars.

[7] In the strong economy of the 1950s and 1960s, utilities were rock-solid. Banks were rock-solid. Inflation was tamed. The United States led the world financially and morally. In ethical behavior. In Doing What Is Right.

[8] Outsourcing: From a business perspective, it "seemed" like a good idea to export our jobs to lower-wage (read lower-quality / lower-ethic) countries. But with contaminated pet food, lead in toys and counterfeit software and other products, we are finally waking up to the fact that not everyone has the same ethics as Americans.

[9] BRIC: Brazil, Russia, India and China are growing at such a rate that their economies are (also) driving up oil prices.

[10] Obesity and being a victim: Americans seem to feel the Government owes them a living. Including free health care. Which will require vast sums of money and cause further erosion in the value of the dollar. The deferred gratification that comes with longer life (later) due to better behavior (now) seems to be a difficult concept to grasp for most Americans.

If you put all these seemingly disparate facts / events together, one can see how this came about: Death by a thousand cuts: Those cuts being the erosion of profit as a true motivator (led by anti-capitalists), and one can see where this may head. Sooner than later. It is interesting that this contrarian view makes sense when unwinding unintended consequences caused by too much government meddling.

(Side note: Portland is a microcosm of this mismanagement: We are spending precious time and resources on naming streets and building bike paths instead of creating an environment where clean, sustainable businesses are encouraged to set up shop - to bring in a net in-flow of people to the community. Instead, we tax businesses and investors and only realize the unintended consequences after many move out.)

We have a choice in front of us. We have the talent, resources, capitalist (read free-choice) system and capability to lead the world: economically, technologically, politically and even morally.

Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic seems to be the status quo from our political leaders. Voted in by a disenfranchised electorate.

The United States deserves more. Its citizens deserve more. And you deserve more.

We need leadership. We need focus. And we need to marshal our collective will and considerable resources to work together to solve all these problems, in a way that bodes well for our children and grandchildren.

Instead of the political parties trying to undermine one another, instead of the PUC disincentivizing utilities to find innovative ways to move to clean energy, instead of additionally taxing oil companies' profits - why not focus on what would solve many problems?

Why not focus our resources on incentivizing, supporting and even funding renewable energy technologies that would enable the United States to become a net-exporter of renewable energy? Not high-jobs-per-kilowatt-hour. But high-density, clean energy production.

A simple (simplistic?) solution is to move away from oil entirely and rely on electric vehicles, using renewable grid-electricity production. Yes, driving range is an issue. As is battery technology, but most of us drive fewer than the average range of current-technology plug-in cars. By converting even 10% to 20% of vehicle usage to electric vehicles, greenhouse emissions would decrease significantly, as would oil prices. These are business decisions, and it seems our car companies are a bit slow in "getting it".

Bottom line: The root cause of our economic problems is that we are a net importer - of goods and energy. No economy can withstand the hundreds of billions of dollars being sent to non-friendly states. The root cause of us being a net-importer is that in general, we are complacent. Yes lots of great people and organizations are doing lots of great things. But America appears to be in not only a cyclical decline but a long-term decline.


As a free country (so far), you have the ability to vote with your signature and your dollar.

Government: Let's help Government become more responsible by only voting for those who "get" this notion and actually do something by focusing on the root cause problem: Becoming a net-exporter of renewable energy and renewable energy technologies. How do we do that? With your vote. In 1980, John Anderson ran on a ticket to solve our energy problems by adding a 50 cent per gallon gasoline tax. Had this been accomplished, those billions of dollars would have been spent to solve our oil dependency. He received 7% of the popular vote. Use your signature on a letter to your congressmen and women - to fund renewable energy technology development. Your children will thank you.

Business: Only buy cars that are electric or hybrid. That is, vote with your dollars. Use your signature to write the CEOs of U.S. car manufacturers to build plug-in electrics. Then buy them.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oregon's Governor Kulongoski

sets "green agenda" for 2009

Yesterday, I met with Governor Kulongoski (as did 200 others) - to hear him lay out his green agenda for Oregon - for the next legislative session. His major points include efficiencies, tax breaks, focus on transportation and several other initiatives. These will help Oregon get "greener". Some are arguable (as to how they will be paid for), but action is truly needed. And his is a bold approach. The Oregonian's front page article goes into detail.

My only concern? No emphasis on new technology development. Deployment of existing technologies, yes. This is not enough. For instance, energy storage (to help make wind & solar more productive), transmission improvements (to stem looses), distributed generation technologies (to decrease "I^2R" losses and increase energy security), "pre-plug" efficiencies (not just EnergyStar / appliance programs), and low-carbon solutions - are all needed to innovate our way through the energy-independence situation. Bringing DOWN energy costs while reducing carbon and other emissions.

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

US Chamber of Commerce Releases

"Energy Blueprint"

The Institute for 21st Century Energy released a Blueprint for Securing America's Energy Future at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. It provide more than 75 energy policy recommendations for the next President and Congress.

One of its major recommendations includes: Significantly Increase Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies (page 20 of the report).

Additionally, it recommend that Congress should create a Clean Energy Bank of the United States (CEBUS), with sufficient initial capitalization to invest in and accelerate the market penetration of advanced clean energy technologies.

These support NXergy's focus and is the right direction.

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The U.S. Faces another "Sputnik Moment"

Rep. Bart Gordon, a Democratic congressman from Tennessee and chair of the Science & Technology committee, believes the United States faces a new challenge in need of government support: finding the fuel of the future. He's proposed a new government entity, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, with the mandate to invest in revolutionary technologies.

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Bailout Bill has PHEV Credits

"The bailout legislation signed by President Bush contains a tax-credit for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles."

"The credit is a base $2,500 plus $417 for each kWh of battery pack capacity in excess of 4 kWh, to a maximum of $7,500 for light-duty vehicles; $10,000 for vehicles with gross vehicle weights of more than 10,000 but less than 14,000 pounds; $12,500 for vehicles with a GVW of more than 14,000 but less than 26,000 pounds; and $15,000 for any vehicle with a GVW of more than 26,000 pounds."


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How to Fix Our Economy and the Energy Crisis

With the economic meltdown in our economy, there is plenty of blame to go around. While we’ll soon be focusing on mortgage loan companies using risky methods, consumers biting off more than they can chew, Congress wanting to add more regulations (that hamper investments), and both presidential candidates blaming the other party, we might want to look a bit longer term. Both in the past and the future.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves how we got in this mess. Why aren’t we the economic powerhouse of the 1950s / 1960s anymore? To answer these and many more questions, you may want to read these:

=> How did we get in this mess? What decisions were made, by whom? And how can we learn from the past? Find out. And what about now?

=> And you think it’s bad, now? How developing nations will make the problem much worse, and why we need to make different decisions, now. A book excerpt on this train wreck can be found here. And details of the analysis can be found here.

=> Whoever addresses our energy problem – through real technology innovation and business model innovation – will win this election. You can compare the presidential candidates’ approaches, here. (With the detail, here.) Please check your congressional candidates’ views, too.

=> We need to innovate our way out: Create industries and technologies – to become a net-exporter of renewable energy technologies.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Seven Myths of Energy Independence

"Despite supposedly bold initiatives such as last year's Energy Independence and Security Act, America is no freer from foreign oil: Since 2006, imports have remained steady at about 13 million barrels every day, while the price for each of those barrels has jumped by $30. Our heavily subsidized ethanol refiners now use so much corn that prices for all grains have soared, sparking (food) inflation."

The 7 Myths (According to the article):
Myth #1: Energy Independence Is Good
Myth #2: Ethanol Will Set Us Free
Myth #3: Conservation Is a "Personal Virtue"
Myth #4: We Can Go It Alone
Myth #5: Some Geek in Silicon Valley Will Fix the Problem
Myth #6: Cut Demand and the Rest Will Follow
Myth #7: Once Bush Is Gone, Change Will Come

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Energy is the #1 issue in this year's Presidential race

It doesn't really take a scientist to figure this out, but both candidates are running toward energy solutions: McCain's economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin said energy would top McCain's policy list in his first 100 days in the White House. Meanwhile, Senator Biden very interested in renewable energy (although mainly biofuels).

It is likely that the candidate who proposes the most credible plan will sway independent voters. A high-level comparison can be found here, and a more detailed comparison can be found, here.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

McCain / Palin: Energy is #1 Issue!

"Delegates at the Republican National Convention this week got a laminated card listing their party's principles. The top item, ahead of the economy, national security and fiscal accountability: `energy independence and lower gas prices'.'' It would seem that they are oh-so-close on this issue. McCain needs to emphasize and implement a renewable energy technology acceleration approach!

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Independent voters will decide the next president of the United States.

Significant shifts in our thinking and behavior are needed to overcome this grand challenge. Not business as usual or government as usual. We need true, common sense leadership on this issue!

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Energy Rally for America

This is a great grass roots effort. Americans are tired of politics as usual - blaming the other side for political gain instead of coming up with real bi-partisan solutions. Please look at what The Energy Rally for America is doing and seriously consider signing on to help them. The Rally is on September 8th!

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

How do Obama's & McCain's Energy Plans compare to The 21st Century Energy Initiative?

See for yourself how Obama's and McCain's plan compare. Right now, Obamas' plan is better than McCain's. All McCain has to do is to show how he is different from both Obama and Bush: and he could win over independents!

How can this happen?

One of the critical success factors in this election is - who will win over independent voters? As usual the issue is: How will the next President affect my pocketbook? The biggest single metric for the economy is the price of gas. It's something voters are reminded of 2 to 5 times a month; every time they fill up their gas tanks. McCain has got to differentiate himself by focusing on renewable energy technology acceleration and commercialization: Applying significantly more resources than he is currently planning.

Obama's plan. McCain's plan.

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The portion of Obama's speech that works

I liked and hated Obama's DNC speech. Many things right (investing in renewable energy). Many things wrong (obviating people's self-responsibility). That portion on renewable energy that makes sense:

"Washington’s been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years. Today, we import triple the amount of oil. Now is the time to end this addiction. As President, I will invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy – wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and new jobs. America, now is not the time for small plans."


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Oregon Governor's Summit

Governor Ted Kulongoski held a summit on Oregon's Energy Future. He brought in representatives from the business community, energy industry, environmental community, consumer advocates, labor and economists. Results of this will be posted.


Monday, August 25, 2008

New America Foundation

The New America Foundation has many innovative ideas in several areas. One could say "Beyond Politics." Regarding Energy & the Environment, check out the link.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Institute for 21st Century Energy

While thumbing through Parade Magazine today, I came across a brief article about the Institute for 21st Century Energy. They propose neither "red state" nor "blue state" solutions... rather American Solutions. Hard-left & hard-right politicos may have a problem with their approach, but it is the right approach. Please consider signing their letter (in the "Join Us!" box)!

One of their "13 Energy Principles*" points to the additional need to commercialize technology from additionally-funded labs - which is the basis of NXergy, Inc.: A Renewable Energy Technology Accelerator.

* Significantly Increase Funding for Research, Development, and Demonstration of Advanced Clean Energy Technologies

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

U.S. Senator Harry Reid takes action!

Industry leaders, scientists, policy experts, citizens, and the media are gathering in Nevada at the National Clean Energy Summit hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to chart a course for our nation's clean energy future. This is a pivotal opportunity to focus on defining a policy agenda that accelerates the development of renewable energy, energy-efficiency technologies, and robust clean energy markets in Nevada, the nation, and the world.

(Update: 11 key recommendations made as a result.)

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Denmark's Response to the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo (vs. US')

From Thomas Freidman of the NY Times: "Unlike America, Denmark, which was so badly hammered by the 1973 Arab oil embargo that it banned all Sunday driving for a while, responded to that crisis in such a sustained, focused and systematic way that today it is energy independent."

From my new book: "In 1973, Denmark was 98% dependent on foreign oil. As a result of the tremendous economic shock to their economy, they (collectively) made a decision to do something. As a result, today, they are a net-exporter of renewable energy technologies. This is like the frog in the water: When a frog is thrown into boiling water, it will jump out. If a frog is in lukewarm water that is slowly brought to a boil, it will stay in the water and die. I fear the U.S. was in lukewarm water in 1973, while Denmark was thrown into boiling water. Perhaps, now we realize we are in boiling water and will collectively make the bold decisions and take urgent action to make a significant difference to solve our energy problems, once and for all."

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Stagflation Growing

As identified in this blog 2 years ago*, Stagflation is something to be concerned about. Now, The Economist is reporting on it - and for good reason: "This suggests that the economic malaise will stretch well into next year, and maybe into 2010. ... If there was one lesson that policymakers learned in the 1970s, it is that there is no easy cure for stagflation. After the nice years, a hard slog lies ahead."

Point? The decisions we make now need to be fact-based, long-term oriented, instead of driven by election cycle politics - what seems (almost) "fanciful", now.

* And in a research report, in 2005 (page 8), item #2 "Make a Decision".

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Obama & McCain's Energy Plans

McCain is now calling it an"Energy Strategy" (1) and Obama has taken pages out of my (prior) thinking on this topic - from the 2005 research report(2). The good thing is... it's front and center (where it needs to be). The bad thing is: they're still playing politics.

The good: Obama's talking about complete independence from the Middle East & Venezuela in 10 years. This is even more doable than complete independence, since we import more from Canada. McCain is looking to industry for answers... as part of the solution.

The bad: McCain's "strategy" does not invest enough. Obama's "plan" is still centered on industry being the bad guy.

Perhaps these two could read "The Blame Game" section of my new book (a draft of which was sent to both of them, early in the year) and come up with fact-based, bipartisan solutions. Oh right... after the election.

Notes: (1) From my book: "What to do About the High Price of Gasoline" - that I sent Obama, McCain and Clinton several months ago. (2) From my research (in 2005): Page three (at the bottom - Item #1: $15 billion / year). Created June, 2005: Sent to McCain, Obame and Clinton, then.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Two Excellent Organizations

Two organizations worth checking out:

Rocky Mountain Institute: Is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization. Their work is independent, non-adversarial, and transideological, with a strong emphasis on market-based solutions.

The New Energy Movement: Acts to promote the rapid widespread deployment of advanced, clean, and sustainable energy sources.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008


Senators Conrad (D-North Dakota) and Chambliss (R-Georgia) leading a "gang of 10" to implement some good old-fashioned bipartisanship to move this country forward regarding energy strategy. Not sure what they're going to come up with, but the first (extremely important) step is to work together, instead of cross-purposes.

I faxed a letter to both of them, attaching "The Presidential Speech I'd Like to Hear" and a link to my new book (free to blog readers - for the time being). Working title: “The High Price Of Gasoline… and what to do about it. How to solve our energy problems, once and for all.” Perhaps a true bipartisan solution will evolve?

You can send your support to them, too. Contact information: Conrad & Chambliss. Tell your U.S. Representatives to LISTEN to them.


Energy Independence by 2025

This blog started in June of 2005. Research that drove to this conclusion was begun in 2003. In June of 2008, McCain came up with his speech and said" ... In a world of hostile and unstable suppliers of oil, this nation will achieve strategic independence by 2025." Better late than never.


McCain & Obama support anti-carbon measures

One thing is for certain, starting in 2009, there will be change in the US regarding carbon production. Obama supports a carbon tax and McCain a Cap & Trade system - with similar results. Just as oil prices have more than tripled, electricity prices are set to increase. It seems accelerating significantly more cost-effective renewable energy technologies (to market) is in order.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Airline Biz Blog sends open letter to Mr. Bush

Well worth the read!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wind-to-Hydrogen Project

Senator Byron Dorgan (North Dakota) sponsors a $2 million wind-to-hydrogen project.

"Basin Electric Power Cooperative, with U.S. Department of Energy funding arranged by U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan, developed a cutting edge research project to turn intermittent wind energy into a value-added energy source that can be stored and used as needed.

The electrolyzer, an integral part of Basin Electric’s Wind-to-Hydrogen project, was delivered to the NDSU North Central Research Extension Center in Minot in June 2007. The unit was manufactured in Belgium and supplied by Hydrogenics Corp., Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It takes power from wind turbines, and runs the electrolyzer to break apart water (H2O) into oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H2). The Wind-to-Hydrogen project was was dedicated on July 21, 2007. The station is the first in the region."

In other (oldish) news: Boeing flies first Hydrogen-powered plane.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

EIA: About time for real change?

News report: Oil prices are too high and threaten the global economy but also open the way to huge energy and pollution savings by spurring new technologies and policies, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Obama uses pages from 2005 Energy Independence Fund idea

According to Obama's website:
  • Invest $150 Billion over 10 Years in Clean Energy: Obama will invest $150 billion over 10 years to advance the next generation of biofuels and fuel infrastructure, accelerate the commercialization of plug-in hybrids, promote development of commercial-scale renewable energy, invest in low-emissions coal plants, and begin the transition to a new digital electricity grid. A principal focus of this fund will be devoted to ensuring that technologies that are developed in the U.S. are rapidly commercialized in the U.S. and deployed around the globe.
  • Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund: Obama will create a Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund to fill a critical gap in U.S. technology development. Obama will invest $10 billion per year into this fund for five years. The fund will partner with existing investment funds and our National Laboratories to ensure that promising technologies move beyond the lab and are commercialized in the U.S
These are the suggestions made in 2005 (and before).

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Portland, Oregon's approach to Peak OIl

This comprehensive report-of-findings from Portland "Peak Oil Task Force" is an exceptional body of knowledge and piece of work. Well done!

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Friday, June 06, 2008

How to kick-start a renewable energy technology accelerator

One might think that there are mechanisms in place to provide seed funding to an organization that could have a tremendous impact on our energy problems (which are NOW). Instead of having to "get in line" for an appropriations that "might get funded in 2010." In other news...


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Consider donating what you can!

This site is funded by readers like you. Please donate whatever you can to keep the truth about energy independence coming to you. Thank you.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Senator Lugar's (Indiana) audacious speech

Senator Lugar's speech* reflects the major points in this blog: We, as a nation must have the political courage to think in completely different terms, in how we solve our growing energy problems. (In other news, oil hit $119 a barrel, today.)

Lugar Announces Energy Plan: Senator Lugar's address to the Richard G. Lugar-Purdue University Summit on Energy Security.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Public / Private Partenership example: Moving "green" forward

Michigan is leveraging $1.7 million (state funding) into $50 million (private funding). How it's done.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Californians' power bills to bankroll climate institute

This is (potentially) a great concept. It could be accelerated by focusing on significant power-generation improvements (i.e., help utilities profit from investing in new technologies that have a secondary effect of reducing carbon release). Who knows, maybe they'd even provide matching funds if they were allowed to keep more of the profits. However, it may just be a process to raise money for more research, without the necessary focus on commercialization. Time will tell.


Monday, March 03, 2008


House passes renewable energy bill:

- Summary of voting
- Summary of bill
- Full bill


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Consider donating what you can!

This site is funded by readers like you. Please donate whatever you can to keep the truth about energy independence coming to you. Thank you.

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President's Speech I'd like to Hear

What if a sitting U.S. President gave this speech? I'd like to see it.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

House Energy Bill makes it to The Senate

You may want to see what you're spending your $307 (per average family) on:

The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act

Full bill can be read, here:

Subject to the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as amended, during fiscal year 2008 commitments to guarantee loans under title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 shall not exceed a total principal amount, any part of which is to be guaranteed, of $7,000,000,000: Provided, That of that amount, $2,000,000,000 shall be available for carbon sequestration optimized coal power plants, $4,000,000,000 shall be available for projects that promote biofuels and clean transportation fuels, and $1,000,000,000 shall be available for electric transmission facilities or renewable power generation systems: Provided further, That pursuant to section 1702(b)(2) of the Act, no appropriations are available to pay the subsidy cost of such guarantees: Provided further, That the source of payments received from borrowers for the subsidy cost shall not be a loan or other debt obligation that is made or guaranteed by the Federal Government."

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Rational behavior would get us rational solutions!

Apparently, Jon Anderson (1980) and Ross Perot (1992) were "too rational" for voters. Instead the best solutions we can come up with (in our polarized, two-party "system") have been fraught with unintended consequences. For an excellent article on how this could possibly be, click, here. And a little humor on this important topic!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Next president of the United States?

From Michael Bloomberg: "The politics of partisanship and the resulting inaction and excuses have paralyzed decision-making, primarily at the federal level, and the big issues of the day are not being addressed – leaving our future in jeopardy. We can accept this, or we can say – ‘Enough is enough!’ – and together, build a bright future for our country."

Full text can be found, here.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

California's Energy Action Plan

California's Energy Action Plan

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New direction?

From the State of the Union:
"Extending hope and opportunity depends on a stable supply of energy that keeps America's economy running and America's environment clean. For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists -- who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy.

It's in our vital interest to diversify America's energy supply -- the way forward is through technology. We must continue changing the way America generates electric power, by even greater use of clean coal technology, solar and wind energy, and clean, safe nuclear power. We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol -- using everything from wood chips to grasses, to agricultural wastes.

We made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies here in Washington and the strong response of the market. And now even more dramatic advances are within reach. Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we've done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next 10 years. When we do that we will have cut our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East.

To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 -- and that is nearly five times the current target. At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks -- and conserve up to 8.5 billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017.

Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but it's not going to eliminate it. And so as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways. And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment, and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change. "

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Energy Policy Act information

If you are interested in learning what is going on at the Federal Policy level, here's a good place to start!

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Monday, June 05, 2006

Time for an Energy-technology Incubator in Oregon?

With the Governor’s stated objectives (see entry, below) and no end in sight for demand-induced / turmoil-exacerbated price increases, now would be the time to create an Oregon-based energy-technology incubator! Of course, we need the following:

- policy support (almost)
- market-need (in place)
- technology-innovators (available)
- leaders (available)
- money (not being applied [sufficiently] in Oregon [yet])

Will anyone step up? I believe step one is the money & policy. The others will follow!

[1] Please read Oregon Business Magazine’s interview with Nancy Floyd.
[2] Check out Pacific Northwest's Energy Venture blog!

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Oregon's Governor Supports BHAG!

March, 2006: Oregon's Governor Kulongoski encouraged the State of Oregon to focus more on renewable energy: Sustainable Industries Journal & Governor's Press Release (revising his proclamation). This would be a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG).

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Consider donating what you can!

This site is funded by readers like you. Please donate whatever you can to keep the truth about energy independence coming to you. Thank you.

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Oregon's Renewable Energy Action Plan

Check out Oregon's Renewable Energy Action Plan. The document was finalized April, 2005. (Other than the fact the corn ethaonl will cause food prices to increase [due to additional water and land needed], at this point, I have no comment. Please feel free to share your thoughts!)


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Letters delivered to Oregon Senators

Personal letters to the offices of Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith were hand-delivered today - appealing to their bi-partisan approach.

Bipartisan approach:

If you are concerned about this important topic, please follow up with these gentlemen:

Senator Gordon Smith
Washington, DC Office Portland Metro Office
404 Russell Building 121 SW Salmon St., Suite 1250
Washington, DC 20510-3704 Portland, OR 97204
Phone: (202)224-3753 Phone: (503)326-3386

Senator Ron Wyden
Washington, DC Portland Metro Office
230 Dirksen Senate Building 700 NE Multnomah St., Suite 450
Washington, DC 20510-3703 Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (202) 224-5244 Phone: (503) 326-7525


Sunday, July 10, 2005


For a unique approach to our energy problem, visit There, you will find access to detailed research (into "Hydrogen pricing"), as well as how to create and fund an Energy Independence Fund. You will also find a summary 2-page "opinion letter" and links to Senators and Representatives... to get your voice heard.

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