Thursday, May 5, 2011

Energy Policy - 40 Years Without

Energy Policy - 40 Years Without

  Alternative verses Renewable - either/or - should it be both ? Tuesday, April 19 at The National Press Club Luncheon two guys, one my age, Ted Turner, the other 6 years older at 82, T. Boone Pickens, debated their current passions. 
  Ted Turner, the man who shrunk the World when he started CNN, is the chief proponent of renewable energy today. Solar, wind, and geothermal, he claims, are the only way to save humanity as we know it because these renewable energy sources do not use the energy stored up in carbon as oil, coal, and natural gas does.
  T. Boone Pickens, a wildcatter in the oil fields after graduating college with a degree in geology, is lobbying Washington to adopt a plan to transition the USA away from gas and diesel, first in our truck fleets then to the automobile, by changing their fuel to Natural Gas. Already large fleets of busses and garbage trucks have transitioned. His success will come, he asserts, when the 18 wheeler fleets which crisscross the country delivering most everything a family uses makes the change over.
  Both men realize each plan has merit : Turner's, as a long term ultimate solution ; Pickens', as a transition from dirty oil to clean natural gas especially to move goods in trucks and trains.
  Washington, to its shame both men agree, has pandered to campaign contributors who profit from the status quo by stifling a nonpartisan passage of a comprehensive energy bill that would chart America's future energy course.
  Our future is in all of our voices joining together to demand an Energy Policy along with a sympathetic press telling the true story of the World a generation out if nothing is done. The United States with only 4 percent of the World's population uses 25 percent of the World's energy so how goes the USA goes the World. 
  Joining these two old bulls in an arena where they 
would meld their energy policies the Press Club did the country a great service. The future, I realize, is in renewables but the immediate need is to swiftly ween us off dirty oil, gasoline and diesel, as we transition to renewables. Our duty is to press legislators to get on board and formulate a comprehensive energy policy that takes both Turner's and Pickens' ideas and form legislation around them. If Congress won't move, remove them.

Ronald C. Downie

As appearing in The Mercury Letters To Readers' Views May 5,2011

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