In the United States we mark the anniversary of our nation’s birth with parades, concerts, picnics, fairs and fireworks. People dress in red, white and blue and advertisers go berserk. We should be celebrating our liberation from fossil fuel, but for some reason that battle isn’t over. The means to break our dependence on dirty oil, gas and coal are at hand and we should take them up immediately.
Recently I got to see the future of energy. I was in Colorado to investigate the state’s renewable energy resources and it is truly amazing how far and how fast they have become reality. Not that there isn’t a frenzy of hydraulic fracturing competing with people, farmers and wildlife for precious clean water as well as mining and timber interests destroying public land for profit, but some things change faster than others.
From the wind farms of the eastern plains, the solar panels covering buildings all over the state to the Oz like scale of the San Luis Valley solar power stations, Colorado is breaking free. Having passed a renewable energy portfolio standard by referendum in 2004, Coloradans are busy generating their own power with rooftop solar and seeing their utility meters run backwards.
While the Germans would probably give their feed in tariffs for the 330 days of sunshine that Coloradans enjoy in an average year, people in the rest of the states should take up the opportunity to get free of the crushing monthly subsidies to coal-fired power plants that pollute our air and water and make us sick.
If we could end the national subsidies to the petroarchy and redeploy our resources in renewable energy we will become free to pursue the happiness of a clean energy future. That we can celebrate.