Sunday, April 27, 2008

Energy Solutions

It is imperative that the Congress deal with energy immediately. It is a problem that should have been dealt with during the Ford Administration, which is five Presidential Administrations ago. Five Presidents and ten Congresses had the opportunity to lay out a cohesive, progressive foundation towards energy independence, and they all failed to act. Time is of the essence now. The high cost of energy now threatens the vitality of our Nation. Congress must enact a methodical, cohesive plan that sets goals and time tables towards total energy independence for our Nation.

There are small goals that can be met with the technology that is available right now. As projects are implemented on a massive scale, the America way is that innovation and ingenuity will follow which will lead to larger projects being accomplished. Every street light on every Federal Highway should be taken off the power grid and lit with solar cells. If Congress would enact a Solar Street Light mandate and fully fund it through the Federal Highway Fund, so that projects can begin immediately in all 50 States, this will accomplish a goal for the future and a reward to the economy now. If all Federal Highway Street Light were refitted with solar cells, this would:

1. Create Jobs right now for manufacturers of solar cells; installers and electricians, thousands of jobs will be created throughout the Country.
2. Save Demand on the Power Grid
3. Save Electric Bills for the Federal Government for now and the future.

Surely the Nation can afford such a program if we have billions of dollars to spend on the infrastructure of Iraq. Is anyone keeping tabs on the money being spent on the Iraqi infrastructure so that they can pay the US back from their billions in oil revenues? Remember the Administration promised that the money that the US spent in Iraq would be repaid from the Iraq Oil Revenues. When do the payments start? We can use this money now to implement a Federal Solar Street Light Project.

Another project that Congress can fund immediately is to mandate and fund the retrofitting of all Federal Buildings with alternative electric and heating systems. With Federal Buildings in every State and in most major cities this will create jobs across the Country and also spur on innovation and ingenuity. As companies across the Country vie for the Federal Contracts, they will come up with innovative products to set them apart from the competition in order to win the contracts. This will cause more efficient and capable alternative electric, solar and geothermal energy systems. The newer systems with more efficiency will become more feasible for companies to install on their buildings causing another wave of competition towards innovation and efficiency. Then the third wave of practical use will become available to homeowners as the systems become less costly to produce and more efficient. This would just be a start, but a start that is long past due. Congress must act because this Administration will not act in a auspicious way on any kind of cohesive, practical, and cost saving energy plan. An Energy Plan that rewards oil companies with tax incentives and breaks is far from a plan at all. Funding a viable, immediate alternative energy plan is both a plan for now and a plan for the future; it will provide jobs now in a variety of fields, from architects to researchers, to construction workers, electricians, carpenters, truckers, manufacturers, skilled and unskilled labor. This is the way to stimulate an Economy back to health, not with a $600 check that will not produce a long term positive for the Nation. Image how much power every street light on every Federal Highway costs to light every day, and how much coal, oil and gas must be burned to produce the electricity that is required to light them. The future savings for the Federal Government will be tremendous just on the street light program, added to the savings from retrofitting every Federal Building a tax cut in the future will be possible.

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