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PLATFORM ISSUES :: OIL DEPENDENCY

Our energy problems have become totally intertwined with foreign policies and environmental issues. Our need to import about half of America’s twenty million barrels a day oil requirement, makes us dangerously dependent on the whims of foreign governments and businesses. The imports from OPEC provide nearly one quarter of this 20 million barrels a day oil habit that America has developed. Saudi Arabia alone provides 1.5 million barrels or more per day of this vital resource. Our country has become the oil hog of the world voraciously using more oil per capita then any other nation.

Our present and former administrations have failed to take any measures that would alter this dangerous path of self destruction that America is traveling along to quench its’ voracious oil thirst. Both government and industry leaders have embraced our current dangerous inept energy policies. We are becoming the colonial empire of multinational companies that hold our economy hostage by controlling the fuel we need to grow our nation. My opponents will say that my statements are pure unfounded fear creating rhetoric, but the fact that we spend three hundred billion dollars of our annual defense budget to insure that OPEC oil reaches our shores should give you a clear indication of how important foreign oil is to our country. Our current and proposed antiquated energy policies burden you, the tax paper, with great financial and human cost to perpetuate a failing energy program.

We have very viable alternative solutions that could be used to make America totally energy self sufficient, but lobbyist, industrialist and our own elected officials constantly fight to maintain the status quo. Their greed, shortsightedness, and vision-challenged-minds prevent anything new happening that could reduce our reliance for oil to power our nation.

As my esteem contemporary Harry Braun stated in his platform we need to address our energy issues at “wartime speed”. He is absolutely correct. Our energy needs and our existing insane programs for providing for them makes America vulnerable to economic blackmail by other nations in this politically chaotic world we live in.

Part of my solutions to this problem is to create an agency to oversee the transition of our country from its’ foreign energy dependency to an energy self-sufficient nation. Initially, I propose to allocate a sum equal to the same budgeted amount used to insure that OPEC oil reaches our shores. This sum of three hundred billion dollars will be used to create solar power plants, thousands of wind farms, thermal conversion processing plants, and pay for research on more efficient ways to use hydrogen energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) calculate that if we used open desert area equaling 100 square miles or (64,000 acres) with efficient solar panels we could continuously produce electrical energy equivalent to 256 million barrels of oil a day. That by itself dwarfs our present required energy need and it is pollution free and renewable. Do we have the desert area to accomplish this? The Great Basin Desert covers 190,000 square mile area, the Mojave Desert is 25,000 square miles, the Sonoran Desert is 120,000 square miles and the Chihuahuan Desert covers 200,000 square miles. You have to ask yourself why have we not done this? If I am elected, we will do this.

Wind power to produce electricity is also a tried and true environmentally sound and effective way to produce electricity. It is not as efficient as solar but it is renewable and wind farms could be built where solar panels are not an effective means to produce energy. Hydroelectric plants are also a very effective way to create power.

But every thing cannot run on electricity alone. We need oil, still for planes, vehicles and for many other purposes. How do we get that? One thing, just switching to solar energy reduces our need for oil immensely and allows us to be able to rely on our own oil reserves. But even with such a draconian change in the energy department, we still must find a source for renewable oil that is environmentally friendly. I have had the good fortune of being a guest at a plant owned by Changing World Technologies, that has the ability to convert organic waste into crude oil. It does this in a very energy efficient process and will have the capacity to produce 400 to 500 barrels of oil a day currently from each factory. Their process helps us respond effectively to two problems we face. The need for oil and how to dispose of tons of organic waste.

They are other companies that are converting waste to energy. In Renton, Washington the King County treatment plant with the help of FuelCell Energy, a Danbury, Conn company converts 86 million gallons of sewage a day into usable energy.

Now I need to address the main energy medium that my staff and I feel will be the corner stone of our future energy program. That fuel is Hydrogen. Hydrogen has all the desirable factors we are looking for, non-polluting, plentiful and capable of reversing some of the damage done by or current polluting fuels.

The use of fossil fuel, beside making us a dependent on the good will of foreign countries, produces toxic air, pollutes water and is the main cause of acid rain to name just a few undesirable factors associated with its’ use. Worst yet, many of your sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers have lost their life to sustain a way of living that we could easily maintain cheaper and more peacefully by simply altering the focus of our energy source and using technology.

We are locked into antiquated energy technologies because they produce billions in profits for corporations that have no concern for our country or you the people who suffer from their greed. No change will happen unless you fervently support these alternative methods to help us stay a free, independent and powerful America.

I know most of you have heard me called by my distracters in the oil industry as the whore for hydrogen energy interests but I want to respond to that with a quote from Margaret Thatcher who said:

“I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”