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Energy? It’s the Independence, Stupid

by Douglas Arrison on October 6, 2009


The 2008 Presidential campaign was especially vitriolic.  But but there was one area of agreement.

America should become energy independent.

Now, as we enter the political discussion over climate change (video, original post), it’s important that clean energy advocates seize the opportunity to frame the debate.  Choosing energy independence (and it’s compliment, national security) as the cornerstone of the renewable energy argument will make this common goal a win-win for all sides.  Like health care, climate change is an extremely complicated issue, subject to distortion and obfuscation by it’s critics.  That’s why it’s important to establish a simple and compelling benefit statement at the outset.

During the election T. Boone Pickens spent a lot of his time, effort and money to educate the public about energy issues.  He argued quite successfully that the U.S. should invest heavily in wind power (and natural gas), solar energy, geothermal and other renewable energy sources in order to wean ourselves off foreign oil.  He advocated for “Energy Independence” as the solution to a number of key problems confronting the country – and built a strong following for his platform from a truly bi-partisan electorate.  National security was one of the core benefits he listed to sell his plan – and it made complete sense.  Why would we want to send 800 Billion dollars a year to the Middle East when we can produce our own energy right here at home?  If that money stays in the US, the oil exporting countries get weaker and we get stronger.  It serves our financial interest and our national security.

Simple.  Logical.  Non-partisan.

Let’s frame the Climate Change debate now, using energy independence and national security as its basis.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ben October 20, 2009 at 5:22 pm

This is a little off topic, but I have a question about solar. I live in the upper midwest (Fargo ND) and curious how well solar can work in the extreme cold? There is sunshine, but it does get about as cold as it can get.

If you think it is possible, how much energy do you think can be generated…. and if you answer this question, please dumb it down to something an average guy can understand.

I am interested in solar and wind energy….. also looking for some good resources. Please come to http://www.guygoesgreen.com and let me know.


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