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Let's Not Write Our Future in Oil


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17 June 2010, 10:46 AM
President Obama must turn words into action on clean energy

"The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now."

President Obama's words, delivered from the Oval Office on Tuesday night, read like a clear call for national unity as we gather strength to turn the corner to a new, better America. But at this point, they are only words. What we need is action.

Americans are clamoring for it: 71 percent think President Obama and Congress should make the development of clean energy sources a high priority. Based on his speech—"The one approach I will not accept is inaction"—the president appears to be among those numbers. But ultimately, Obama needs to follow his own decree.

The president must outline in far greater detail the clean energy future he says we must embrace, and then he needs to demand that Congress implement. Saying we need that future "even if we're unsure exactly what that looks like" and "even if we don't yet know precisely how we're going to get there" is merely mincing words.

In the clean energy future, we will turn to renewable energy technologies designed and produced by American labor to satisfy our energy needs, and leave behind dirty and dangerous-to-produce fossil fuels like oil and coal. We get there by organizing a national effort to combat global climate change, codified by a strong climate and energy bill, and on the order of the greatest of historical American initiatives.

It's past time to overcome the special interests and representatives of the status quo who tell us that clean energy will bankrupt the nation. Energy security, economic prosperity and environmental safety aren't the sacrifices of a clean energy future. They are the rewards.

What Americans definitely don't want is more catastrophic side effects of our addiction to fossil fuels: oil and coal ash spills, deadly mine explosions, decapitated mountains, poisoned air and water, and unchecked global warming. If President Obama paints a clear vision of how a clean energy future will be markedly different from this dirty present and how we can achieve it, the line to sign-up will be very long indeed.

Every day of delay further exposes us to the costs of our fossil fuel addiction. Gulf residents were conscripted against their will into a battle against an out-of-control spill that is still invading our coasts, docking our fishing boats, and coating our wildlife in crude oil. Americans, and residents of the Gulf coast especially, have every right to be infuriated with BP's egregious disregard for safety and the government's asleep-at-the-wheel approach to regulation.

BP's recently established $20 billion fund will aid the Gulf of Mexico as it rebuilds, but no presidential commission and no renewed interest in regulation can undo what has happened there, the effects of which will be felt for many years to come. And even though the president promised that he and his administration will work "to make sure that a catastrophe like [the Gulf oil spill] never happens again," minutes later he admitted that "no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, drilling for oil these days entails greater risk."

Dwindling reserves of crude oil are forcing the oil industry into mile-deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico, and we are all witnesses now to the economic and environmental shock wave that results when accidents happen in such high-risk places, where the industry doesn't know how to plug a gusher.

The possibility of catastrophic accidents and the ensuing environmental and economic damage aren't exclusive to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Shell Oil has been pushing for years to drill in remote regions of America's Arctic Ocean, where an oil spill would be infinitely more difficult to contain and clean than in the Gulf. And oil operations in Canada's Alberta tar sands, where oil companies mine a thick, tar-like substance that is far dirtier than conventional crude oil, are an environmental disaster in and of themselves.

Fortunately, Earthjustice was able to help block Shell oil's plans to drill in America's Arctic Ocean this summer, which had been approved in cursory fashion by the same disgraced MMS agency that rubberstamped BP's plans to drill in the Gulf. And we are challenging pipelines that would deliver dirty tar sands crude oil to the United States in efforts to curtail the environmental catastrophe occurring in Canada's boreal forests. But the only foolproof way to reduce the risks of drilling in these frontiers of oil production is to not take them at all.

What we need instead is comprehensive climate and energy legislation that increases development of renewable energy, decreases our reliance on fossil fuels and preserves the integrity of landmark laws like the Clean Air Act as a means to cut down on global warming pollution.

Sadly, Obama didn't outline a bold, detailed plan in his speech on Tuesday night. The kid gloves need to come off.

I think this article very clearly lays out the rationale for a campaign I have started to get people to repeat this simple phrase: There is no future in oil.

Check out www.thereisnofutureinoil.wordpress.com and www.thereisnofutureinoil.com and the Facebook page "There is No Future in Oil."

I wonder How much the federal judge is being paid by the oil company. It is unbelivable that after the ecological disater, a judge of our own nation will side with the source of distruction. The lack of respect for the president of this country is the reflection of raxism that is still alive and well....My heart breaks to think about the wild life being destroy.

Yes, very heartbreaking to see the suffering of our marine life caused by BP spill. Perhaps judge's decision had more to do with protection of personal investment rather than doing the right thing and protecting us from reckless oil companies. Part of the solution might be for average citizens to choose employment with companies who are not destroying the planet. Second, don't purchase products that are made from crude oil. Third, invest in companies that are attempting to produce cars that use alternate energy, ie electric cars. Watch 'Gasland' for other disturbing info re activities of energy companies.

Hey Anonymous, Put a sock in it. Hide behind an empty statement and play the race card. You are what is wrong with this country. When someone doesn't have the same view as our President has, you and other cowards call them racists. That is a crock and America can see through it. Making a comment like that makes you and people like you a JOKE!

So you want to call this Judge a racist and he wants distruction? Then I will say all you want is the people working those wells to be unemployed. What give you that write to take their jobs away? Coward!

Now, if someone drowns in a swimming pool, do we ban swimming? Be smart about this and not accuse this Judge as you have. Lets do a better job of inspecting these rigs and hold BP and the others responsible with shutting down the rigs that are violating safety.

Let put some experts together to come up with a solution to stop the oil from gushing. Pointing fingers to find blame will not stop the flow of oil into the gulf. Do the finger pointing later.

The quality of performance of the MMS has been well documented since its inception. The MMS will not be significantly changed by just removing its head. Based on personal experience, DOI bureaus created as MMS was can be excised from the Federal government which is the only logical solution. However, it will not be removed owing to the authority held by the fossil fuels industry. Beginning with Richard Nixon there have been numerous serious attempts to move more of the country to alternative energy sources. For reasons as those documented in "Merchants of Doubt" and the entrenched, almost family role, that the fossil fuels industry has with Congress, it will be some time before there is change short of an international event driving up energy costs. Such reasons are also why the nation pays about $7 a gallon for gasoline while we pay $2.80 or so at the pump! During the past several years the rate of energy use increased about 4 times greater than that of population. With present knowledge, much could be done at least to slow the rate of increase. However, we can not even get a cap-an-trade through Congress presently let alone something that will work such as a carbon tax.

Isn't the federal judge's decision to quash Obama's drilling moratorium unconstitutional? The take I have on this decision is the rigs sit in Federal water that is owned by the people of the US. Oil corporations are renters and are assuraedly very bad tenants. Could the US block the judges decision based on the fact oil companies do not own the Gulf and the President is trying to do his job by protecting the people from another oil spill at least until the rigs are inspected (six months). Another point; royalties from the oil rigs were supposed to go to remediation of land/water used and to strengthen natural resourses with conservancy...Little if none of this money has been allocated to conserve our wildlife, forests or oceans since law was enacted in the 1990s. Could we not stop the drilling by asking oil companies for all money due from leases and royalties plus interest? We must do something to stop this insanity!

It is time to leave fossil fuel such as oil, coal and gas behind as we move in to the 21st. century. We've been messing around, literally, with this stuff for centuries. Now is the time to begin ernestly investing in greener energy (solar, wind, even nuclear). I agree that we can't drop our dependence on the old ways overnight but let's stop kidding ourselves about the reality that the only thing stopping progress is the influence peddling in Washington from fossil fuel industries who don't want to lose profit on a sure thing; even if it kills everyone on the planet.

Four decades of scientific research on alternative energy are waiting to implemented.

"Paradise Regained: Regreening the Earth using resources from space"
Johnson, Matloff, Bangs
Copernicus Books ISBN 978-0-387-79985-8

http://www.youtube.com/user/BangsMatloff#play/all

Four decades of research on alternative energy waiting to be implemented.
"Paradise Regained: Regreening the Earth using resources from space"
Copernicus Books, ISBN 978-0-387-79985-8

Johnson, Matloff, Bangs

http://www.youtube.com/user/BangsMatloff#play/all

A few decades back there was a bad oil-spill off the coast of Alaska. Every Alaskan who had access to a boat, a wet-vac and a barrel set out on the water to vacuum up the oil, dump it in the barrels, paddle home and sell the crude oil to the refineries -- for a tidy profit. Like ants stripping a bone, those enterprising citizens cleaned up the oil spill. It didn't make the papers.

Today, there are thousands of citizens along the Gulf who have boats, wet-vacs and barrels, and would happily go out on the water and collect the floating crude oil -- but the Coast Guard (and BP?) won't let them near it. I can understand why BP wouldn't want to let anyone (especially with a camera) close enough to see the damage, but why the government?

Do they *want* the Gulf environment damaged to the point where nobody can make a living from it? Do they *want* the citizens to stay poor in a bad economy? Or do they want everybody to think that citizen action is useless, and only the government can deal with any crisis?

Is there any way we can get an investigative reporter to expose this?

In any case, I appeal to all the citizens along the Gulf coast to go out with wet-vacs and barrels to the beaches where the oil-slick has drifted ashore. I also appeal to every politician in reach to force BP to buy that reclaimed oil that the citizens bring in.

--Leslie <;)))><

Not much I can say ,it is said and I cant figure out why they wont just lower a like vaccum type cap on top to suck the gas ....Yes you would loose some but still alot lesser then whats being lost.

The disaster in the Gulf coast further tragically underlines what the whole human race has known for a long time: WE MUST USE GREEN PRODUCTS instead of oil. This is for the benefit of all of the plants and all of the animals. We, in case this had escaped your notice, are animals. We need clean water, clean air, forests, grasslands, and the many animals that populate them, for many complex reasons. It is a complex system, and it is a circular system that we have completely destroyed. We are part of this ecosystem, and it will be most unpleasant to suffer and die from anoxia, starvation, and the various toxic chemicals that we are currently throwing up into our environment. :

LIke the ecco friendly light bulbs? These things have mercury in them. They are said to save energy, but they poison the landfills and (animals) with mercury. When they burn out people just through them in the trash like they always have.

Nuclear Power is one source we have used for many years. The US Navy has been making unlimited energy with nuclear power plants safely for a long time.

Wind power is good when the wind is blowing. Solar power is great when the sun shine. It is very expensive though.

Hey, we could just be as reckless as we want and just buy carbon offsets. Big Al Gore's company can sell it to you. It will make you feel good while you destroy the planet.

So what's the answer?

Ms. K, I don't disagree with you at all. But the people we have put in charge are doing more harm than good. Lets fire them all and put the new people we put in on notice.

Trip, WE HAVE TO GET A MILLION PEOPLE TO GO TO DC AND HOLD THE WHITE HOUSE
HOSTAGE UNTIL OBAMA GETS THE MESSAGE.... AND WE MUST DO THE SAME THING
TO CONGRESS.... CAN WE ORGANIZE THIS? Lynn Feinerman , Crown Sephira Productions,
San Francisco

Sure we can do this. Lets start this NOVEMBER...... Fire these people and put people in that will protect us, not their personal interests. They all do it.

The Bible in Revelation 8:7-11 and Revelation 16:3-4 and 8-9 contains predictions of environmental devastation and scorching heat, caused by the "destroyers of the earth," Revelation 11:18. Said "destroyers of the earth" will initially kill a third of the sea creatures, Revelation 8:8-9, then all of them, Revelation 16:3. In sum, this means that the best efforts of environmentalists will be defeated by Big Business and their politician shills, sad to say.

But to everybad thing there is a good ....Two sides to everything.

Electric & hybrid cars have more torque off the line than gas or diesel and they cost the least of any car to own, operate, repair, maintain and fuel. Ask any bus or train operator. And even the dirtiest electric grid is cleaner than the cleanest tailpipe. But electric cars cost more up front - for now.

But does the public know that? No. If we can educate people that the "monthly payment" is the last thing that matters, that saving money makes you happier than incontinent, random spending, financing electric cars from Nissan, Ford, etc will be easy.

What 2 car family doesn't need a car just to commute to work and back? EVERY 2 car family needs that kind of car. And that's where electric fits in. 40 miles a day - that's what 80% of the public drives. That's it. Because most people live in or near a major city. So you're never run out of "gas" in an electric car. It costs the equivalent of $1 a gallon OR LESS depending on where you live to recharge at night. Need more miles? Nissan's got one with 100 miles on a charge.

We gotta stop "waiting for hydrogen" because it's really a fool-sell, not a fuel-cell. Hydrogen takes in 3 units of energy to make for every 1 unit you get at the wheels. It's only good for space craft and submarines - places where there's nowhere to plug-in or release fumes. For everybody else, batteries and biofuels are more convenient, offer better power and cost less.

As for noo-kyu-lar, see comment below.

This entire oil incident just turns my stomach. I never agreed with tampering with the ocean floor, because it’s far too remote a location to fix if mankind makes a mistake; and here you go, …a perfect example.

We rely on oil far more than we have to. The technology is out there for vehicles that can run on other than gasoline, but big oil companies buy up the technology and throw it on a shelf to be forgotten. They don’t want the oil industry dented, because they will end up losing money. I think this is wrong.

Also, …for nearly a decade I’ve been saying we need more windmill farms and solar panel farms. These are technologies that are totally reversible. If you ever have to take the windmills down, they can be removed as if they were never there in the first place. You can’t say this about coal mining. Once the earth is stripped of its resources, they’re gone forever. PLUS, coal miners get black lung and live short lives. Wind mills and solar panels won’t do this to people.

Green energy is a no-brainer. Why aren’t we jumping on this bandwagon and trying to make the best of it by going green on really large scales.

Only those who determinedly sequester themselves from information could possibly support the mining, processing, use (with considerable venting of radioactive materials that occurs at every plant), and impossibility of disposing of nuclear waste, could make such comments as are made above (or below).
water used in mining is implicated in severe health problems of those affected by the extraction and processing. I am not your teacher; you are an adult, look it all up yourself.
Cancer clusters consistently appear in all phases. As yet, long-term disposal is not a phase. Long-term disposal at Yucca Mt. was proposed due to the energy users succeeding in their political "Not In My State" actions, although they are the users, and should be paying the full price, rather than the Biz-as-usual externalization of true costs. ALL containment materials corrode: titanium, stainless steel, the alloys developed for long-term. The time period involved may not directly affect you or your descendants, but they WILL affect other life, however many tens of thousand of years. What right do YOU have to poison those who have no recourse?

Of course we should work towards a cleaner energy future. But why are politicians all of a sudden advocating this. Do not let a crisis go to waste. Lets acknowledge the elephant in the room. Stop the leak. Do not prevent people from cleaning up the spill. That is happening now. Why are you and your government thugs stopping clean up operations. Gee you want a big mess so you can pass your useless laws that put money in your contributors pockets. This president of questionable citizen status is lost. We need to transition to this so called clean energy. Who will profit from this the most? We have all kinds of smoke stack scrubbers,

Consider the Connection to:
The Economic Pyramid
_________________________________CONSUMER
_______________________________RECREATION
_____________________________COMMUNICATION
___________________________TRANSPORTATION
_________________________BUSINESS
_______________________INDUSTRY
_____________________AGRICULTURE
|SOIL|MINERALS|FOREST|WATER|WILDLIFE|WETLAND|WIND|SOLAR|NUCLEAR|
|GEOTHERMAL|BIOMASS|NATURAL GAS|FUEL CELLS|HYDROGEN|__________|

Our economy rest on a base of natural resources we CAN NOT remove the top from the base.
CONSUMER ( U & I ) survival depends on the wise-use of natural resources.
Clean energy is needed at levels of the Economic Pyramid.
www.facebook.com Jerry Lee Mayeux WALL-PROFILE-INFO-3 PHOTOS & COMMENTS

We need the courage to powerdown. We need to think long and hard about activities that really do not utilize resources: sing and dance with your neighbors instead of going to a concert; revive storytelling with your kids instead of watching a movie.

What we should learn from these multiple tragedies is that there are unforeseen consequences everywhere. The more technology involved, the more unwanted consequences await us. That is why nuclear, renewables, hybrids, will all come around to bite us in the end.

Doing less, sitting around more just talking and laughing with friends, drinking sun mint tea from your garden, watching the bats come out at dusk, learning the constellations (yes! turn the lights OFF) - better a boring world than none at all - and it may just surprise you how much happier you can be when you feel connected to nature, and to friends and family.

Dear Luddite, your comment, "That is why nuclear, renewables, hybrids, will all come around to bite us in the end.", looks like maybe you are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. RENEWABLES, i.e., wind, solar, etc. ARE the answer. My home has been powered by solar PV for the past 20 years, water catchment provides for all my needs. I can assure you that I can see the stars, enjoy nature, and best of all , communicate with people like you electronically. Just as you have put your message out, electronically. Long live the internet. Let's clean up the sources that power it.

The elephant in the room is nuclear energy. Although it will take some time to build new plants, it is renewable, unlimited, non polluting, and would get us out of the fossil fuel business. The scare tactics about its waste storage and radiation hazards are a myth with today's technology. There is no clean coal, which emits thousands of times more radiation each year than nuclear energy ever could. Yet the ecofrauds, who espouse the dangers of carbon emissions allow new coal plants to be built while fighting the expansion of nuclear power. Compared to much of the rest of the world, when it comes to renewable energy, we are a third world country.

Solar is cheaper than nuclear, so why would anybody want to use nuclear? Nuclear is the most expensive source of electricity right now and it's going up. Yet solar is dropping in price. The smart grid has to be built anyways to prevent blackouts. When you mesh daytime solar with night time wind, you can provide seamless power anywhere in the country for less cost than nuclear and natural gas. At that point, you only need EXISTING power plants to only provide FILL IN power to even out the loads.

Why is nuclear the most expensive source? Because when you factor in the costs the government spends per unit generated on nuclear that it doesn't spend on solar or wind per unit generated, the costs of Federal liability insurance, guarantees, research, infinite waste storage and disposal, cleanup funds, decommissioning (end of life facility tear down) and regulatory issues all add up to more than what the utility bill accounts for and it's paid for with tax dollars, not by the utility!

Solar on the other hand doesn't have any pollution, so it doesn't require any of the nuclear overhead and it's dropping in price daily thanks to responsible investors and passionate professionals and voters and consumers who decided to take matters in their own hands to use, buy, invest and create a better, smarter, cleaner, cheaper answer.

50-70% of all our energy is wasted by inefficiency. That means no new plants need to be built for population or economic growth. It's enough to wipe out all the oil we currently import too.

Efficiency is NOT conservation, it does NOT require turning down the thermostat, turning off light switches. Efficiency is passive, automatic, built-in, by design when you buy something. Conservation is manual, active - the anathema to chasing convenience. Efficiency means same performance with less waste, not with more work and not with less convenience. Conservation means possibly less performance and waste, but with possibly more work and less convenience. Efficiency is a TV that uses less energy but has a bigger screen, a house that feels the same temperature, but uses less energy to make it feel that way, a car that's faster off the line because electric motors have more torque than gas or diesel engines and don't need as much energy for the same speed. Today's houses, buildings, cars, appliances, electronics, grids, plants, etc., are extremely inefficient. Tougher laws and fee-bates (where you penalize the bad thing and reward the good thing) reverse the waste without increasing the total amount paid for energy or products.

The PUBLIC now needs to be educated on where every day things and energy comes from and what EFFICIENCY is - the politicians know solar is cheaper than nuclear, the liars on this board know it, the nuclear industry knows it, but the public doesn't. And the public demands nuclear energy as if it were a body of energy experts which they are not.

WE have to bone up on these facts and WE have to tell the public solar is cheaper than nuclear - or else they will continue to be played by politicians who know better, but only want to get re-elected.

The public needs a big education campaign - Where Everyday Things Come From - Including Energy.

Although atomic energy does have its problems, France and other countries in Europe have used it for many years and have had NO ILL EFFECTS. If the French can do it, why can't we? Stop Congress from caving in to the oil and coal companies, and get on with developing our non-fossil fuel sources! Surely we must be able to understand because of the BP Gulf disaster, just how dangerous these fossil fuels really are, and Congress needs to stop taking money from them and get on with developing a nation for our children and grandchildren

France's nuclear myth has been disproved over the years - problems, leaks, intermittent operation, cost over-runs - nuclear is the most expensive power system in the world. Even France is looking to get away from it.

Wall Street doesn't like nuclear, it's more expensive than solar, so the industry is desperate to cash in on the public's ignorance and fantasy of perpetual convenience. And politicians listen.

Our planet is calling out to you .... the turtles, the dolphins, the whales, the pelicans, Oystercatchers, the fishes, the grasses ... they're all begging of you ...

It's always been up to us -- and always will be. We can whine and fuss about how our leaders are not doing 'their' job. We can laugh at the immature antics of someone like Joe Barton (R-Tx). We can jump up and down screaming about the oil spill, but in the end we are the solution (or the failure). This blowout in the Gulf is, in a way, a gift. We can accept it lovingly and take it as a wake up call or we can feel cheated and hurt. It's time for us to accept that we need to go thru a major cultural shift -- and they don't come easy. Humans hate change. The status quo is sooooo comfortable and easy. But these are not easy times. Time to put down the TV remote and get to work. Here's what you can do:

Get an energy audit on your home. Then tighten it up. The reduction in energy used is very, very likely to amaze you. Whatever you do... dump the big SUV. You never really needed it anyway and now it's clearly part of the problem. Take the plunge and get a hybrid. Yes, it's smaller and less cushy but you can drive with pride instead of shame. Install solar for your hot water. It works. And then you can take those long, hot showers and know that (most of the time) you're not burning oil/coal. And you can adjust your clothes/dish washing to sunny days and know that once again you're not using fossil fuels. If your refrigerator is old, trade it in for an EnergyStar model. Install those CFL lightbulbs everywhere in your home -- they cut energy usage A LOT. You can do it. Indeed, no one is going to do it for you.

If you choose the status quo ... well then, you and Joe Barton are part of the problem together. Make changes and you give the gift of life to your grandchildren and their children's children. They'll be thanking you long after you're gone. It could be a proud heritage.

Re-legalize Hemp! Plant it everywhere. Extract the oil. It is the best plant to use for the production of Bio-diesel - fast growing and requires little care. It burns clean. This can start in California this November when we have a chance to legalize cannabis. Hemp was made illegal to grow in the 30's thanks to Hearst & DuPont, when they linked hemp with it's THC containing cousin and criminalized them both as the "assassin of youth" in the interest of their resource exploiting businesses. We must undo this hoax.

There is no such thing as clean-coal.

Nuke-u-lar power is not safe. 1 BP-type error and we get an even bigger disaster than the gulf that can never be cleaned up. And we have no place to store the deadly bi-product.

Let get serious about this before we ruin the planet. We've known for at least 35 years that we have to get off the black stuff, but the politicians are owned by big oil. Please do not vote for anyone who excepts oil company donations. And vote for legalization of cannabis this November in California.

Wake up everyone. If Obama really tried to change things Bush and his allies would kill him and he knows it. The World lives under a dictatorship controlled by corruption in the Courts. If you want to change the World get real law in the Courts and get rid of the HOAs that take away homes from our military solders fighting to defend us for $800 owed showing off how it works and bad it is. Everytime you say you know about this you let it happen again.

John^^

Remember that we are decades away from having useful quantities of renewable energy. Right now over 90% of our energy comes from fossil fuels, about 5 percent comes from hydropower, 4 percent from burning biomass and less than 1 percent from other renewable sources.

So the what are the alternatives to drilling for oil in the Gulf?

1) Conservation - we can profitably reduce our energy use by the equivalent of more than half of our oil use. This makes money and can happen now, but we have to do it. The government can't do that for us. Just read the McKinsey Associates report on energy conservation to see how.

2) Natural Gas - Boone Pickens has been promoting the American Gas Act and it should pass because we have the equivalent of 700 billion barrels of oil (BOE) in tight gas reservoirs. This has half the CO2 emissions of oil and 40% of the emissions of coal. This is happening now and the fuel is where we need it.

3) CCS in Oil Fields - We can also can also sequestion CO2 in old oil reservoirs and produce more oil from it. There are about 77 billion barrels that could be produced this way in the lower 48 states and another 12 billion in Alaska. This is carbon neutral since it takes about as much CO2 to produce a barrel of oil as is produced when the oil burns. This has been going on for almost 40 years and needs to be expanded.

4) CCS in Coal Beds - Flue gas from power plants can be sequestered in deep coal beds. The flue gas from one power plant produces enough natural gas for five equal sized power plants. This makes coal fired power plants obsolete. We should phase coal plants out.

The sum of alll these sources is over 20 times as many BOE as is hoped to be discovered offshore.

What about renewables - Biofuels are decades away from being practical and widespread. Grease from McDonalds is not a practical fuel. Ethanol has been a miserable failure for years and is just a way to turn corn into pork without having a pig farm. It takes as much energy to make ethanol as is released when it burns, and more CO2 is released in its manufacture than would be if gasoline were used. Everything else is in the R&D stage.

Wind power is great on the great plains and will slowly expand but needs a better power grid. Solar has years to develop and won't be practical until we have distributed solar power generation on most roof tops.

We need inventions and decades of sorting the good from the bad before we have renewable energy. Fred Krupp's book "The Earth in Sequel" is a good source of ideas being tested. I hope that my new grand daughter can have use mostly renewable energy by the time she has children.

Until then use as little energy as possible. Dreaming is good, but it will take inventions, engineering and capital to rebuild our energy infrasturucture. Let's pray for that day. Whining won't help.

Capital, and a level playing field.
Have you read Russ Baker's FAMILY OF SECRETS?

Why can't the oil industries realize that the first to jump on to the renewable resource "bandwagon" will be the first to reap the monetary rewards?

Perhaps they HAVE looked into the possibilities, and know that what they're doing now is more profitable. Perhaps they ALREADY own the technology for the other possibilities, so that no one else will threaten their energy monopoly. Have you seen WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? Q: who owns that car now? Who now owns the super-battery which would render a whole lot of oil unnecessary?

What, you expect Mr. Obama to DO something? But, in a way, he IS doing something...he's making soothing noises to lull us into believing that all is well, while the scumbags who benefit from things the way they are continue to benefit, at our expense.

Did you seriously expect more???

What, you expect Mr. Obama to DO something? But, in a way, he IS doing something...he's making soothing noises to lull us into believing that all is well, while the scumbags who benefit from things the way they are continue to benefit, at our expense.

Did you seriously expect more???

We have to recognize that the Obama administration is NOT as activist or progressive as many of us had hoped, and that he himself can't be counted on to truly lead on many of the issues (not just the environment but also civil rights and mitigating corporate power, to name just two) that many of us care about. But - and this is, to me, a VERY important but - he and his administration, though disappointingly craven, are NOT the enemies of progress that Bush and his administration were. While not the leader we need, Obama can BE led.

In short, it is after all up to us - as it always has been.

I await proof of your contention that Obama CAN BE LED (by progressives) with great interest.

it's time to get off oil. the president should campaign hard for this.

Rodolfo: Nope! It's not the president that's the problem, it's us. The people. We can get off of oil (or at least lots of it) RIGHT NOW. We don't have to wait for some leader to give us the OK. Get those low-enegy using lightbulbs installed (you can even do it TODAY). Dump the big SUV and get a hybrid. Get your residence tightened up so you quit heating/cooling the OUTDOORS, for pities sake. Get solar hot water installed. Get a better refrigerator. There is much YOU can do and not wait for permission from your leaders. No whining. Those turtles, and fishes, and birds and grasses of the Gulf are calling out to you ... begging you..... "quit using so much oil!" PS. And most states have $ assistance for many of these fossil-fuel saving upgrades.

LIke in the 1960s and 1970s when there was a shortage of teachers, bright young people who chose to enter the field received an all paid education. This is no less a crisis and we need the brightest minds to work on developing green energy, so let's offer them the same deal--a free college education for those who will study and develop new green technology.

Be aware that nuclear energy is included on the government's list of "clean energy" sources. I can assure you, it is anything but clean. We already have tons radioactive waste that has nowhere to go, and will have to be monitored for thousands of years, really, forever. Three Mile Island was not the only near meltdown in this country. We nearly lost Toledo and Detroit when a reactor almost went. And there have been others.

It's a shame that President Carter's White House solar panels were removed by the Regan administration. There is so much more that needs to be done with alternative energy. I'm not completely sold on this, but Holland is making a case for burning trash for power. Read the NYT article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/13/science/earth/13trash.html?emc=eta1

Please put into action what we have been promised for decades for the good of all the world and it's creatures. For our children and future generations to come.

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