Natural gas and renewables – a political AND energy fix this time around?
Put these pieces of America’s, if not the world’s, energy puzzle together and one could see a political AND energy fix combining a lot more natural gas-fueled transportation along with renewable sources of electricity and electric vehicles.
As U.S. gasoline prices lurch toward $5 per gallon and Americans are reminded this ‘Earth Week’ of the year-ago tragedies at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia and the offshore oil rig operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico, a compromise is looking more plausible with each passing month.
Don’t hold your breath for a solution just yet. But as oilman T. Boone Pickens told the National Press Club in Washington, DC April 19, inaction is making Congress look just plain “stupid.” The higher gasoline prices go, the more stupid they look; and the more vulnerable some Representatives and Senators will be at the polls in November 2012.
Add to the growing realization — thank you James Woolsey — that the U.S. is effectively financing BOTH sides of the war with radical Islam and how increasingly vulnerable the U.S. is, the solution just might be something close to “The Pickens Plan.”
Pickens’ plan includes these two pillars:
- Create millions of new jobs by building out the capacity to generate up to 22 percent of our electricity from wind and solar energy;
- Using America’s natural gas to replace imported oil as a transportation fuel in addition to its other uses in power generation, chemicals, etc.
Some of pieces of the puzzle embracing elements of The Pickens Plan are coming together on Capitol Hill as part of the “The Natural Gas Act of 2011” (H.R. 1380), introduced April 6, 2011. In its first two weeks, the legislation has garnered 178 bipartisan cosponsors.
Versions of this bill were introduced — and failed — in the previous Congresses. Perhaps another anniversary will help it gain acceptance by 2012: 9/11.
Here’s to hoping America’s, and the world’s economic, energy and national security will benefit from it.