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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Alternative Energy

We all know that we need more oil and alternative means of energy. However, the NIMBY's are already starting to let their voices be heard.

There is a ready market for the wind and solar power generated in the deserts of the southwest. In order to use this energy, the utilities need to build transmission lines to connect this electricity to the consumers homes. Unfortunately, the utilities don't expect to be able to complete the lines until 2014 because of the time necessary to obtain regulatory approval and rights-of-way, plus the possible lawsuits.

In California, hundreds turned out to protest a connection between the solar and geothermal fields of the Imperial Valley to Los Angeles and Orange County. The environmentalists are lobbying state commissioners to kill a 150 mile link between San Diego and solar panels because it would cover 20 miles through Anza-Borrego state park.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Ed Rendell who adopted wind power as a main political plank, now along with Senator Bob Casey, is leading a charge to repeal a 2005 law that makes transmission lines slightly easier to build.

Many states, such as Oregon, Arizona, Tennessee, West Virginia, Maine and even New York are fighting these transmission lines while insisting on clean energy.

One of the arguments against drilling in Alaska and offshore United States is that we won't see the oil for five to 10 years. Yet, even if we opt for wind power we won't see that for at least six years, assuming there are no lawsuits from environmentalists because some trees will be disturbed, or even some birds may be bothered.

They can run some transmission lines through my backyard, they can even install some solar panels and drill for oil off the Jersey shore.

But something must be done and done soon.

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