The battle between Russia and the Ukraine over natural gas payments unscores once again the need for a diverse energy supply. Several European countries have seen reduced energy supplies when they need it the most. This is not just a quality of life issue – this in some cases is a life and death issue. Gazprom, like the oil companies, are producing record profits. The majority of the worlds population is reliant on a few sources of fuel that are controlled by a few companies. It is these few that controls world’s energy supply. The world has recently seen what impact a few companies can have on the economic and social well being of the world. I often speak to the social issues related to fuel, like global warming (that my Cal education hard at work), but fuel diversification is truly required for our economic health. Without it, we are at the mercy of a few companies or countries that control our energy supply.
In a major policy shift, President Obama has removed the obstacles that limits states ability to set emission standards. To quote the President “Let me be clear: Our goal is not to further burden an already struggling industry – it is to help America’s automakers prepare for the future.” As history has proven one thing to be clear, the emission standards established in California will ultimately lead to a new federal standard. California has long been out front and the rest of the nation has followed.
The stimulus plan proposed by the Obama Administration has a large chunk dedicated to renewable energy. Under the plan, approximately $68 billion would go energy. Conceptually I think this a great idea. My concern is where is that money going. Continue reading →