Saturday, August 29, 2009

We need a Clean Energy Revolution

Excerpts from a post at Grist by Senator Bernie Sanders

The United States today spends some $400 billion a year importing oil from countries like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Mexico, Russia, and Venezuela. Think for a moment what an incredible impact that same $400 billion a year could have on our country if that money were invested here and not abroad, in such areas as weatherization, energy efficiency, sustainable energies like wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, public transportation and automobiles that are energy efficient or don’t use fossil fuels at all.

What we are talking about is an energy revolution that leads us toward energy independence, the cessation of support for foreign dictatorships and the ability to avoid Mideast wars fought over oil. What we are talking about is an energy revolution that will substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enable us to address the global warming crisis that threatens our planet with increases in floods, drought, extreme weather conditions, disease and wars fought over limited natural resources. What we are talking about is an energy revolution that will result in cleaner air, water and food and make us a healthier nation.

And, as our nation struggles to recover from the worst economic times since the Great Depression, what we also are talking about is an energy revolution that has the capability of creating millions of good-paying green jobs.

I see a future where by 2025, we are producing a quarter or more of our electricity from clean, sustainable energy sources. I see a revitalized American manufacturing base where instead of importing 90 percent of the batteries used in hybrid vehicles, 46 percent of solar photovoltaic cells and modules, and half of all wind turbines used in the U.S., those product are made right here at home. I see a future where American companies lead the world in the production of hybrid-plug in cars and electric vehicles.

I see a future where instead of creating 330 jobs to build yet another fossil-fuel power plant, we create 4,000 jobs building a solar thermal plant that has no carbon dioxide emissions and does not pollute our air because the only fuel is endlessly renewed, no-cost sunlight. These plants, according to the Interior Department secretary, could provide up to 29 percent of the electrical needs of our country.

The bad news is that if we do not act boldly to address the global warming crisis, the consequences for our planet and future generations will be dire. The good news is that we have the knowledge and technology today, which will only improve in the future, to address that crisis. Yes, we can dramatically cut greenhouse gas emission. Yes, we can create an energy independent nation. Yes, we can create millions of good paying green jobs in the process. Let’s do it! The full post is here.

1 comment:

RonD,windspinner said...

What I never see mentioned is the fact that when we continue to use coal for power in New York, we send millions of dollars to other states for our fuel supply. If we generate clean renewable power here, we keep our dollars here AND as added bonuses, we don't contribute to destroying someone elses 'enchanted' forests.