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The Dirty Truth About "All of The Above" Energy

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18 May 2012, 4:00 PM
Some of the above are fossil fuels -- and they aren't clean

Sometimes an all-in strategy can tarnish the entire package.

Take for example President Obama’s recent decision to tout an “all-of-the-above” approach to achieving energy independence and lowering gas prices. It’s a catchy, feel-good campaign slogan perfect for banners and sound bites, but it’s a hollow energy strategy. Worse yet, it opens America up for destructive practices by painting the administration into a fossil-fuel corner.

Recently, House Republicans seized on Obama’s vulnerable position by successfully insisting that the administration add “clean coal” to its energy policy website. Never mind that coal is dirty at every step of the process, from mining to burning to disposing of the waste. It’s also the source of 99 percent of mercury from the U.S. power sector and the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S.

Even the coal industry knows that coal is dirty, which is why it has tried desperately to rebrand its baby as “clean coal,” an oxymoron at its finest. The lynch-pin of “clean coal,” carbon sequestration, is wildly expensive and doesn’t address local pollution problems.

Obama’s "all of the above strategy" also has us rushing to drill everywhere from the Arctic to our backyards for oil and gas before the proper precautions and safety measures are put in place. After all, an "all-of-the-above strategy" means that every idea is considered, even if these energy sources pollute our air, contaminate our water and sicken our bodies. Unfortunately, though this is done under the guise of making everyone happy, only those who profit politically and financially are left smiling.

Meanwhile, a majority of Americans who place a high priority on developing alternative energy sources such as solar and wind, eagerly await the day when renewable energy really gets to shine. Under President Obama, electricity generation from solar and wind has more than doubled between 2008 and 2011. And the administration’s new fuel efficiency standards will save consumers an estimated $1.7 trillion dollars in real fuel costs over the life of their vehicles. Unfortunately, this good work is undermined by a strategy that relies on the constant governmental buffing and glossing of coal, oil and gas, which makes them appear sparkling while continuing our dependence on dirty fossil fuels.

Currently, Earthjustice is working to put sustainable energy back in the spotlight by opening up markets to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind on the East Coast, the West Coast and in HawaiĘ»i. We’re also ramping up our legal efforts to shut down dirty coal plants, rein in reckless natural gas drilling and protect Arctic ecosystems from risky oil drilling.

Coal, oil and natural gas are all B-list players in the energy sector that have too long fouled our air and water. It’s time for the administration to actually get strategic about its energy strategy and promote the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable technologies like wind and solar, which create energy and jobs while staying clean.

In January, Obama's State of the Union speech played up his push for more offshore oil drilling. The Obama administration fast-tracked Shell Oil's drilling in Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort seas. I have seen only small improvements in the federal environmental record, since Bush departed. Obama has been a disappointment, to say the least.
What are you going to do, vote for Romney? I'm voting for whoever is the Green candidate.

dirty ugly oil - it's time to look to water and wind energy and solar energy. We don't need the rest. Look at China recycling garbage for energy. Yes they are passing us by in technology too.

Yes, but we're denuding our hilltops to send them coal too.

All energy sources are not equal. We must curtail our use of fossil fuels and our outdated, taxpayer supported subsidies. We must think of our children and not squander all of our resources in this generation while warming the planet perhaps beyond repair.

I think it is time that we got lobbyiest out of the pockets of Oil, and Coal companies they are the ones who fund their own personal agendas.

I would like Obama to call for elimination of tax subsidies for oil companies, and instead give those generous subsidies to solar and wind. Better yet, get serious about "free energy" which people like John Bedini and Alex Hill developed years ago. Bedini and Hill utilize the discoveries of Tesla to tap the inexhaustible energy of spacetime, but they are forced to market their devices as "battery life extenders" because the oil and coal lobbies view them as "disruptive technology" (i.e., energy so cheap and plentiful that the fossil fuel industry and air pollution would cease to exist). To see Bedini's devices, go to: To see Alex Hill's devices, go to: .

I was just looking into what was behind the push for fracking in NC after NC Coastal Federation published a promising report on development of wind, solar and biofuel power in Eastern NC. I feel that fracking is not necessary and that all the time and money spent on researching it and trying to prove something that is NOT safe could be safe is a waste of valuable time and resources that should be directed toward alternatives to fossil fuels. No matter how much evidence backs the need and viability of these alternatives, the fossil fuel industry keeps holding on and keeps getting politicians to uphold their backward and destructive practices. It is shameful that we can't move beyond this dark age of fossil fuel destruction and greed. Please keep trying -- My petitions are meant to, at the very least, educate the public about the need to pressure our politicians to do the right thing. Thanks for what you do.

While Mr. Obama appears to be copping out here, I hope that he is only appeasing the Big Oil/Coal/Gas industries ahead of the election, since he does want to be re-elected, and that if and when he resumes office, he will (or can be persuaded to) adopt a position friendlier to clean energy and less friendly to the Bigs. Therefore, I hope the eco-movement will not come down too hard on him prior to the election, as we might end up with the opposite result from what we want.

Clean Energy is vital to our planet. It also has to become available to every human on the planet, not just an energy 'industry'. Solar power is one of the best ways to achieve that. One of the best solar power methods available now does NOT use expensive rare earth elements- which has always been one of the key blocking points for solar energy to become widely available. For several years, we have had the technology of 'Print Out Solar Panels". This method uses a special kind of pure carbon ink, which contains carbon nanotubules and carbon 'buckyballs', otherwise known as the fullerene molecule. Simply google 'print out solar panels' and view all the related articles and use the wikipedia article on 'buckyballs' and fullerene molecule to see how this is being used to harness solar power. This method would allow us to print solar panels on almost any material- from plastic to glass to metal to paper. That's right, paper. The ink can be placed on any surface using an ink jet printer. What we need is a large drive to mass produce these inks. We have empty factories sitting around the Unites States at this time. We can hire thousands of people and get them involved in the NEW Energy Industry. Every home should be covered with this cheap and TRULY CLEAN technology. We do not need rare earths elements from China. We only need to expand this technology and mass produce it right here in the USA. Every home can produce an excess of energy and be able to sell it back to the grid. We MUST work together to truly break the slavery that the energy companies have placed us in.

Every home can produce an excess of electrical power to sell to the grid. I believe you, I do. And so do the large utlities. But if every home did their would be no market for electrical power. In fact the Utilities see small homeowner electrical generation as a threat to their market. That is why they are promoting industrial wind power as their green energy of choice. This allows them to own the wind.

Dr Nai, I'm all for new, cheaper, and plentiful solar technologies that don't use rare earth elements. If these are viable, I am sure they will become commercially available with or without government incentives. But please enlighten us, what is wrong with the conventional crystalline silicon PV technology we use today? What rare materials do their manufacture require? I don't want us to stop the research, but I am getting a bit tired of promises of the 'holy' grail solar technologies on the horizon when THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with the PV technology available today. Most residential roofs have sufficient space to accommodate a PV system using today's conventional solar PV modules which can offset all of the residents energy needs. We don't need the holy grail. We need policies that encourage clean energy over dirty non-renewable fuels.

We do not own the earth. It is loaned to us for our life time. In order to show our appreciation we need to preserve it so that future generations can enjoy what we are enjoying. A beautiful place to live in harmony with mother earth. Let's stop destroying the earth. Without it there is no hope for humanity! We are already drinking water bottled water. When are we going to stop, when we are breathing from a tube!

Thank you for your lovely thoughts. Wish I'd said it so well.

Sustainable and renewable energy are the only clean future for this country-- dirty coal and oil will pollute us, ruin our health and environment, and keep us mired in overseas wars we cannot afford. Your plan, Mr. President, does not reflect the values you promised us when you were elected. Shape up!

Sustainable green jobs are now being threatened with the new Department of Commerce's tariffs on Chinese solar panels . Importing these panels made in China has made installation prices reasonable for everyone, including the small homeowner; and also has created more jobs than the tariffs will create.

Let's focus on clean, sustainable energy sources!

I live in Belle Creek township in Goodhue County. I have always been a supporter of green energy and sustainable environmental policies. In an all of the above energy future, industrial wind energy is "none of the above". AWA Goodhue LLC has ignored the local concerns of residents and intends to site their turbines which are 400 feet tall 1625 feet from the homes of non-participants. Billionaires treating private citizens this badly with the support of the goverment squarely behind the likes of T. Boone Pickens will be the death of alternative energy. This area supports a large bald eagle population and has many bats and other endangered birds. WE sit squarely on the Missippi migratory flyway. Until we have good alternative energy policies driven by science and not the movers and shakers from the traditional energy sector we will always be dependant on someone for expensive power.

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