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White House Takes the Lead

November 1, 2010 – October was National Energy Awareness Month. A lot happened, I’m happy to say. It was NOT brilliant of President Obama to say that much of what he does goes unrecognized (Jon Stewart wanted to know if he was going to throw a surprise party so he could tell us), but here’s some of the stuff he was talking about:

I’m guessing you’ve heard that SOLAR PANELS will once again reside atop the White House, along with a solar water heater. The need for the President to set this example is so painfully obvious it sets my teeth on edge to realize it’s been lacking for 30 years. As you may not be aware, Bill McKibben and a fearless band of environmentalists had trucked the Jimmy Carter originals to Washington, as a way of pushing the issue. Good for them – they got results!

The DOT and EPA announced the first-ever proposed NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS and fuel efficiency for HEAVY-DUTY TRUCKS, vans, and buses. This translates to a savings of 500 million barrels of oil, resulting in savings of $35 billion to truckers. Businesses will save big!

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a series of six new SOLAR POWER PROJECTS on public lands, including the first solar power plant on public land and the largest solar power plant in the WORLD. The Blythe Solar Power Project will produce up to 1,000 megawatts of solar power, or enough to power 300,000 – 750,000 homes, depending upon size. The project, proposed by Palo Verde Solar I, will cover 7,025 acres of public lands eight miles west of Blythe in Riverside County, California. It is expected to create 1,066 jobs at the peak of construction and 295 permanent jobs.

The DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE and the Navy hosted events, the purpose of which was discussing how they can turn their ENERGY USE from a strategic and operational liability to a key strength for our men and women serving in the armed forces. The DoD has long been ahead of other government agencies in addressing this problem. Too bad they’ve kept it a secret.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack outlined the steps USDA will take to reach a national goal of producing 36 billion gallons of biofuel a year in the United States by 2022, with 21 billion gallons coming from advanced biofuel production. That means BIOFUELS DERIVED FROM NON-FOOD SOURCES. How very much I wish it could ALL come from non-food sources; no one should be forced to compete for food which is being used to make fuel for our cars. You will recall that in 2008, there were food riots around the world as a result of corn being used to make bio-ethanol. Thank you, President Bush.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is in charge of 54 high-speed rail projects in 23 states which will receive a total of $2.4 billion for continued research and development.
These projects, once they are a reality, will ease our reliance on foreign oil and reduce our nation’s carbon pollution.

All of this adds up to planning for the future, rather than turning a blind eye to it. Thank you, President Obama.

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