Saturday, September 3, 2011

Monopoly Energy or Energy Democracy?

Published on Saturday, September 3, 2011 

by Ceal Smith

Maybe it was the report from California that large solar lease investors are making an aggressive grab for Governor Brown's groundbreaking 12,000 MW of distributed generation in CA. Or it could have been an insider comment that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is, once again, under explosive pressure to auction off Colorado's few untouched public lands for oil and gas leasing. This, on top of Secretary of Interior Salazar's push to open 22 million acres of ecologically valuable public lands to industrial solar development, was simply too much.

Or perhaps it was re-watching a hilarious, but tragically revealing, 2010 Daily Show where Jon Stewart reminds us that our last 8 Presidents have vowed, and failed to various degrees, to achieve energy independence and end our dependency on dirty fossil fuels.

More likely, the State department approval of the Keystone-I tar sands pipeline was the final straw.
In any case, I found myself staring at the hard truth that we locally-distributed clean energy advocates, climate justice activists, and regular folks who just want affordable energy that doesn't wreck the environment, are losing. No, it's worse than that. 

Our pocketbooks, planet, public safety and welfare have been hijacked as we are aggressively forced to depend on increasingly destructive and dirty energy sources.

Ceal Smith is a biologist, sustainability consultant and founder of the Renewable Communities Alliance in Colorado.

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