UPDATE 2.13.23: In RealClearEnergy, Nikki Martin warns America not to follow Europe’s approach to energy use reduction, which has, in her words, created a “crisis.” She writes:
Now that voters have spoken and elected a divided federal government, it is time for our leaders in Washington to take urgent, realistic actions to bring American energy policy back into balance and away from ideas that are failing in real time in Europe.
For most Americans, energy is not a partisan issue. It is a daily necessity: a way to get to work, light and heat for their homes or power for their business or workplace. With a winter coming that could cost Americans $14.1 billion more for energy than last year, a critical federal offshore leasing plan being developed and the global energy crisis simmering, it is time we got serious, factual and non-partisan about energy policy.
There is a road to the cleaner environment and lower carbon world many Americans want, but we cannot pave it by restricting our options and setting arbitrary deadlines. It is an evolution and not a transition, and it needs careful planning, smart decisions and as many options as we have – including the geoscience data needed to make informed choices.
Europe’s energy crisis demonstrates how the innovator’s mantra of “move fast and break things” can end in ruin. Energy systems demand stability and reliability, because they are so intrinsic to our lives, economy and national security. European nations that rushed too fast to eliminate reliable energy sources and refused to permit or support critical infrastructure as a way to reduce emissions are now facing shortages, costs that have more than tripled and the tragedy of people burning trash in their homes to stay warm.
That is failure.
UPDATE 9.7.2022: Over twelve years after writing the piece below, Americans can now readily understand how important it is to save energy, or better yet, to produce your own on-site. America has plenty of energy, being the coal and natural gas reserves titan of the world. But government directives have driven up the price of energy so high that it pays Americans to consume less where they can. In Joe Biden’s America, energy has become especially expensive. Here are some ways to save.
Originally posted on February 10, 2010.
A study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy indicated that energy efficiency itself is the cheapest, cleanest “source” of energy. Debbie and I are on board, and have switched over to LED lights, TOTO toilets, a tankless hot water system, and a new energy-efficient refrigerator. You’d be astounded how much this all helps! Plus, we have installed solar collectors and a photovoltaic (PV) solar system in Key West. We heat our pool and get hot water from the passive system and power six electrical circuits with our south-facing, two kilowatt, nine-panel PV system, including DC/AC inverter and batteries.
If you’re willing to fight for Main Street America, click here to sign up for my free weekly email.