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A Word from John Hofmeister
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More Energy From All Sources
Wednesday, April 21, 2010@ 2:27 PM
Author: admin

U.S. economic growth and our life styles are predicated on available and affordable energy. In recent years we have experienced a relentless rise in all energy prices and we have begun to fear that sufficient energy availability may be in the past. Many people now talk about “peak oil” and “dirty coal” as if these two prolific energy sources of the 20th Century are behind us. They promote wind and solar energy as new sources to replace them.

Unfortunately there is far, far too much mis-information, dis-information and lack of information about energy across the nation. Because we are the beneficiaries of decades of available and affordable energy, we have as a nation operated with a limited understanding of what it takes to supply energy. Our demand for energy has always been met. There have been few situations where we challenge ourselves or seek out new information on what energy means to us and what its environmental impact is, or is not.

Energy companies have not adequately engaged and educated the public about what they do. School systems have chosen to teach students very little about energy. Elected officials only talk about energy when there is a perceived problem. The general public has not been well served by the industry, education and our leaders when it comes to making informed choices about energy.

Since Katrina and Rita, two of seven major hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico during 2005, we have sensed our energy vulnerability. Gustav and Ike in 2008 test our energy security once again. With 2008 also an election year there is talk across the country about the problems and solutions. However many discussions are politically slanted to advantage one candidate or party versus another. Accusation and vilification are abundant; new sources of energy and solutions to lower prices are not.

The truth is there is no shortage of energy resources of any kind in our country. There is more oil available than we have ever consumed; more coal than any other country on earth; the opportunity for clean coal power production has never been better; more natural gas; more opportunity for liquefied natural gas; more oil in U.S. shale than in all of Saudi Arabia; more bio-fuels practically by the month; more solar; more wind; and more potential for hydrogen than ever before. Meanwhile we continue to benefit from robust hydro-power and nuclear energy production and out there in the future are more opportunities for geo-thermal power. The bottom line is the U.S. has ample energy resources for whatever we choose to do in the future.

Our problem is the lack of a comprehensive, holistic and coherent energy strategy for the short, medium and long term future. The nation has lacked a plan for generations. There has been energy legislation in each of 2005, 2006, 2007 and more is proposed for 2008. Yet each of these bills has come about as a result of a divisive, politically abrasiveness process that has diminished the potential outcomes and even contradicted actions taken in a prior bill just a year or two before. The politics of partisan paralysis has dominated energy legislation; the American people are suffering the consequences.

Citizens for Affordable Energy is prepared to put forth a comprehensive and coherent short, medium and long term plan in consultation with American citizens for political leadership to consider. In the coming months and years information will be disseminated about the supplies of energy to meet future demand. Supply information will be provided without partisan bias and ideological rhetoric. The pluses and minuses of various types of energy supplies from coal, oil and gas to nuclear, bio-fuels, solar and wind, etc. will be presented in their stark realities and without political preference. Citizens have the right to sound, factual information upon which to make rational choices. We plan to make such information available without overwhelmingly complex technical language, which makes the subject incomprehensible. We hope to play a role in informing future choices.

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