A Renewable Energy ‘blogumentary’: Part 1 of 6: No new drilling

This past week there has been a lot of talk from both Bush and McCain about the necessity for the Congress to start permitting new drilling sites for Oil companies in the face of high oil prices, as seen in this video

from the BBC, even though there is plenty of evidence that the real reason for the high prices are the insiders and speculators that Randi Rhodes first documented this week.

Followed by KO’s investigation:

If these revelations of inflated fuel prices anger you, then I hope you won’t be fooled by the rhetoric to

drill, drill, drill.

Part 1 of 6: No new drilling: we have 25 times the renewable energy needed to run our country.

That’s right, while we are debating how much to drill, where to drill and if we should drill ANWR, we are sitting on untapped energy sources: in this case, solar and wind.

First up: Coal, fossil fuels, and the untapped abundance…

Nancy LaPlaca from Energy Justice:

Coal has the same CO2 emission rate as the entire transportation sector. Coal emits 40% of all CO2, 2/3rds of all sulfur dioxide, 1/3rd of all mercury.

These fossil fuels have hidden costs in terms of CO2. Now fossil fuels like oil and natural gas are escalating at a rate of 15% a year. The exciting thing about renewable energy like wind and solar is that when we look at their costs in 2020, we don’t have to think about what they will cost.

Costs of energy are felt by us in many ways, whether it is at the pump, or heating your house in the winter or the electricity to run your business. Each of our states uses the ‘basket of energy’ approaches, which as of now, is usually a basket of fossil fuels, like natural gas or oil or coal. These fossil fuels fill up the ‘grid’ for electricity for the nation, state by state, region by region, and grid by grid. Grid by grid, you say? Yes, the country is broken down into grids (more on that later) and each state has a grid capacity (remember Enron and California’s grid fiasco that ultimately caused Gray Davis to be  recalled.

But that is another scandal…

Colorado,for instance, uses a grid of 12 gigawatts of electricity. That is like needing to plan a trip for the summer and you know that you will always need 12 gallons of gas. So in peak moments in the hot of the summer sun or coldest of winter nights, the full capacity of 12 gigawatts is being supplied by oil, natural gas and oil. The trick is, what if we had a more plentiful source that was cheaper and had no harming effects to the earth. What if you knew that  just in Colorado alone

there is enough energy to run the entire state and many others as well, over 296 gigawatts of electricity from wind and solar resources. With other states in the west participating, we could achieve total energy independence for the entire nation. We could haved a completely electric automobile and transportation sector. Listen to this…

Leslie Glustrom from Clean Energy:

Just in Colorado alone, we have:

In Colorado, Colorado has 96 gigawatts of wind energy.

In terms of Solar energy, Colorado has 200 gigawatts of energy.

(me) enough to power the Midwest…?

Yes more than enough. We have to give credit to Xcel who has made great gains to become a leader among utility companies.


Nancy LaPlaca



Leslie Glustrom



For students and their teachers who want to get involved in renewable energy:


This first part is just to show you what is already here and waiting. There is no need to drill. none. whatsoever. It is time for our leaders to stop denying science and bowing to big oil pressures and embrace the future.

This concludes part 1.

Part 2 tomorrow – Local energy initiatives, how your town, city or state can start investing in renewable energy.

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