PickensPlan

Guides and Materials for New Members from "Communications Support" Group

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Guides and Materials for New Members from "Communications Support" Group

To enable new and current members to understand "The Pickens Plan," and provide them with guides, flyers, brochures, videos, and PowerPoint presentations. A listing of nonprofit associations and select technical papers are also provided. Enjoy!

Members: 304
Latest Activity: Apr 11

Resource Guide: A. Projects; B. Guides, Flyers, Downloads; C. Other NonProfit Organizations; D. Technical Papers


Please post to our Discussion Boards any additional projects, materials, downloads, papers you would like to see on this Resource Guide.

T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S

INTRO. RECOMMENDED FIRST STOPS.

PART A. PROJECTS MEMBERS OF THE PICKENSPLAN ARE NOW UNDERTAKING. CAN YOU ASSIST?

PART B. INFORMATIONAL GUIDES, FLYERS, SAMPLE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR AND OP-ED PIECES, SAMPLE LETTERS TO CONGRESS, VIDEOS, POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS AND MORE. Intended as a supplement to resources available on the PickensPlan itself. Includes materials you can download, print and distribute.

PART C. A LISTING OF OTHER NONPROFIT GROUPS, AND SOME OF THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE THROUGH THESE GROUPS.

PART D. RECENT TECHNICAL PAPERS ARE PROVIDED FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ENJOY!

If you have submissions for use by members, please post them to the Discussion Page; we will review them and then post the accepted submissions here.

Vince Lombardi once said: "The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual." Keep up the great effort - to assist others in understanding PickensPlan.com and in furnishing others with ideas, information, "action steps," flyers, bulletins, videos, PowerPoint presentations and more tools members can utilize. Thank you. - The Communications Support Group

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INTRO. RECOMMENDED FIRST STOPS

Suggested Rules for Networking on the PickensPlan Site

"Why I Am Participating In the Pickens Plan" by Marilynn Roseberry Ward

"Helpful Tips for New Members" and "I have arrived... Now What?" blogs by Clynton

"Open Letter to Members of the U.S. Armed Forces" - another great MRW blog

"A Visit With Grandfather ... and Why The PickensPlan Is So Important to America"

Summary and Background Information About The PickensPlan

"Guidance for Those Seeking To Invest, And Those Seeking To Raise Capital" by Ron A. Rhoades Caution!! Don't send money to anyone for investment purposes without first receiving financial, legal and/or tax advice. And - if you are seeking to raise funds for your for-profit or not-for-profit entity, before you solicit funds read this general guide.

View this inspirational video, "POWER TO THE PEOPLE! Sign Up / Sign In" by Kathy Lee Hart and the Members of Actors, Directors & Production Artists for TBP PLAN

Video, "Mr. W." If you are in the mood for a bit of humor, watch this. I can't tell you what this video is about. Just watch it to the end!

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PART A. PROJECTS MEMBERS OF THE PICKENSPLAN ARE NOW UNDERTAKING - CAN YOU ASSIST?

Update Aug. 30th: I understand that the "PickensPlan Petition Drive" has been delayed, so that another "Call to Action" in September will occur instead. For more information about the Petition idea, please contact Lyn E. Watson or Kim Anderson. Thank you.

1. Welcoming New Members. Member Kim Anderson welcomed over 45,000 new members to the site. When welcomed, those new members reached out and found additional members, nearly doubling new member enrollment over the time period when new members were not welcomed. But Kim needs your help. Please contact her to see how you can "share the workload" and discuss the text of the welcome. Thank you, Kim, and to all who assist in this noble effort. (Personally, this is the most exciting project I've come across on this site - one that will have a profound impact on the success of the PickensPlan. - Ron)

2. The August 2008 "Call to Action" - from our national grassroots organizers. "Congress is on recess this month, and legislators will be back in their home districts. Let’s take this opportunity to hold them responsible for America’s energy policy." You can see more about the Call to Action here:
Call to Action

3. Strategic Planning Discussion. Member Ron A. Rhoades has started a "Strategic Planning" Discussion under this Group, Communications Support. What are the near-term and long-term goals of the PickensPlan? What efforts should be undertaken by members with the new Congress? How can the PickensPlan be better "organized" - or should it be? What should the PickensPlan evolve into? These and other topics will be discussed, with the goal of presenting to T. Boone Pickens by November 1, 2008, members' suggestions for the future direction of the PickensPlan.

4. Proposal for the Creation of the Organization of United States Universities (OUSU#) An interesting project proposed by that ever-energetic Marilynn Roseberry Ward. "The need exists for a center – and its satellites -- dedicated to alternative energy projects and policies dedicated to energy independence as outline by T. Boone Pickens. Such projects will function as proof of concept, exhibited at conference venues organized and conducted via center efforts. Fund seekers and fund sources can meet at such a center, pairing people with opportunity. Policies and policymakers can meet in such a setting. Faculty research and curricula can develop and be offered. College and university administrators, faculty, parents and students can unite in an effort to focus collegiate studies in a stellium of college offerings for credit and specialization." Check it out on Marilynn's blog

5. Communications Support Group Projects. Here's a list of some projects for members (and new members) of the Communications Support Group to tackle. If you desire to take on one of these challenges, please post a "Comment" to this group, below, so that your work will not be duplicated by another member. Thank you.
...a. Revise, update and expand the "100 Action Steps You Can Take Now"
...b. Identify other materials and downloads in other Groups and Forums of this site, for possible inclusion in this Resource Guide.
...c. Revise, update and possibly break into separate sections the "Communications Support Group Bulletin No. 6." (If you desire to tackle this, please contact Ron directly, and he will forward you the Word version of this document.)
...d. More PowerPoint Presentations. Suitable for delivery to civic groups, high school students, meetings of elected officials, etc. With suggested text for speakers. Please see suggestions, below, for how to formulate PowerPoint presentations. Various presentation lengths are needed - 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 50 minutes.
...e. "Glossary." Monte Smith suggested a "glossary" be made available on the PickensPlan site, stating: "Something else I would very much like to see in this resource section is a comprehensive glossary. There is so much technical material being referenced on this site and such a broad span of nomenclature, abbreviations and symbols that one can get bogged down in trying to get the appropriate definition for a particular term, abbreviation or symbol. And not having the correct definition can quickly lead to communication break downs, which can then escalate into incredible complexities with adverse consequences." Anyone know how to tackle this? Is there an existing "glossary" on the web, associated with some other renewable energy or government site, that can serve as a resource for development of the PickensPlan glossary? (Thanks for the idea, Monte.)
...f. Anything else you can think of that will assist the other members of the PickensPlan. Thank you !!!

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PART B. INFORMATIONAL GUIDES, PUBLICATIONS, DOWNLOADS FOR USE BY MEMBERS.

One Hundred Action Steps You Can Take Now (July 19, 2008).
OneHundredActionStepsYouCanTakeNow.pdf

Communications Support Group Bulletin No. 6 (July 19, 2008). Thank you to Ms. Cheryl Gray, in particular, and many others, for their past contributions to this "Bulletin." This document contains summary answers to the following questions:
Q. What is “The Pickens Plan”?
Q. What Can I Personally Do?
Q. What Additional “Action Steps” Can Be Undertaken by Groups and Their Members?
Q. Can You Suggest A “Mission Statement” or a “Statement of Principles” for A Group?
Q. What is the “Communications Support” Group?
Q. What Other Groups Might Be Formed?
CommunicationsSupportgroupBulletinNo6.pdf

Guide to Writing Letters to the Editor and Op-Ed Pieces (July 25, 2008). Thank you to Lindsay Richardson for these guidelines and tips. Also attached is a brief explanation of the differences between "Op-Ed" pieces and "Letters to the Editor." A "sample" Op-Ed piece and "sample" Letter to the Editor are also set forth.
GuidetoWritingLetterstotheEditor.pdf
Explanation,OpEdPiecevsLettersToTheEditor.pdf
SampleOpEdPieceVersion3.pdf
SamplelLetterToEditorFromJohnGray,July18,2008.pdf

PowerPoint Presentations

Suggestions for Developing and Presenting, with PowerPoint
SuggestionsforDevelopingandPresentingSpeechesWithPowerPoint.pdf
BridgetteBurbank,ThePickensPlan,July23,2008.ppt
BridgetteBurbank,ThePickensPlan,July23,2008.pdf
RichardStein,Powerpoint,EnergyAndGlobalWarming,AProblemForSociety.pdf

Flyers
"Join The PickensPlan" (July 18, 2008) Flyer,JoinThePickensPlan,July18,2008.pdf
"Boone's Solution" (July 21, 2008) Flyer,Boones_Solution,July21,2008,byMarilynn.pdf
"Wanted: T. Boone Pickens" (July 18, 2008) Flyer,Wanted,Pickens,July18,2008.pdf
"Six Dollar Gas" (July 19, 2008) Flyer,SixDollarGasDownTheRoad,July17,2008.pdf

Stickers, Small Posters, or Bumper Stickers.
Pickens_Plan_Act_Now_Sticker_Poster.pdf
Bumpersticker.pdf

Business Cards. Thanks to Mr. Gray for the following.
OD717631BusinessCardsMatteWhite on Avery 8371.doc
OD717631BusinessCardsMatteWhite on Avery 8371.pdf

Another Pickens Biz Card - Avery 8371

Recruiting Tool: 3x5 Cards (print on 8.5x11, then cut) Dave Anderson, Administrator, Bismarck, North Dakota Pickens Plan Promoters has created two (2) PDF files which form the front and back of an 8.5" by 11" sheet of card stock. These can be printed out front and back and then cut to form 3.5" by 5" cards. The cards can then be utilized to hand out to potential members. Thanks, Dave!
Pickens3X5Cards-Side1[1].pdf
PickensPlan3x5CardsPetition-Side2.pdf

Letters to Congress. A major tactical goal of the PickensPlan is to influence Congress to adopt long-term policies which foster the deployment of alternative energy solutions, in order to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. The Group "Write to Congress" has a comprehensive listing of how to contact members of Congress, as well as many sample letters - see "Write to Congress" Group. Additional actual or sample letters to Congress, formulated by various members, are set forth below. (Also see discussions of legislative positions, in "nonprofit groups" section, below.)
In Support of the Pickens Plan, by Dan Burbank.pdf
ClydesLetter,July28,2008.pdf
Federaltaxcreditletter,July18,2008.pdf
ImmediateActionrRquested,July18,2008.pdf
Guidecontactingelectedofficials,July18,2008.pdf
LettertoMemberofCongressComprehensiveLongTermEnergyPolicy.pdf
JamesAlFrazier,LettertoCongress,August13,2008.pdf
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PART C. OTHER NON-PROFIT ASSOCIATIONS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. A selection of links to nonprofit organizations and government agencies which may be of interest to PickensPlan members.

1) THE PRESIDENTIAL CLIMATE ACTION PLAN (PCAP) is the result of nearly a year of research and collaboration led by the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs and advised by some of America’s leading experts in climate science and policy. As its name implies, PCAP is a plan for the next President of the United States to take decisive action on global warming, with an emphasis on the first 100 days in office.
PresidentialClimateActionPlan,Dec2007.pdf

2) THE APOLLO ALLIANCE is a coalition of business, labor, environmental, and community leaders working to catalyze a clean energy revolution in America to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, cut the carbon emissions that are destabilizing our climate, and expand opportunities for American businesses and workers. Visit http://apolloalliance.org/index.php. For an interesting letter from a U.S. Representative, Jay Inslee, about legislation supported by The Apollo Alliance, see the PDF file below (Thank you, member Dan Burbank for sharing this letter with us.)
U.S. Rep.Jay Inslee Letter Regarding New Apollo Energy Project.pdf

3) The Global Directory for Environmental Technlogy. http://www.eco-web.com/index.html
A guide to the full spectrum of environmental products & services, featuring 7,000 leading suppliers from 149 countries. Information about organizations, publications and events is complemented by editorial contributions from distinguished experts in their respective fields. A practical reference source for government departments, utility companies, engineering consultants, development agencies, importers and traders, educational institutes, non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in environmental activities. (Thank you to PickensPlan member Amy O'Conner for suggesting this resource.)

4) American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) - AWEA is a national trade association representing wind power project developers, equipment suppliers, services providers, parts manufacturers, utilities, researchers, and others involved in the wind industry - one of the world's fastest growing energy industries. In addition, AWEA represents hundreds of wind energy advocates from around the world. Includes a "Resource Library." Check them out at www.awea.org. Their "Resource Library" includes AWEA wind energy information resources available free of charge via the Internet, document download or mail, and include: Documents & Reports, Fact Sheets, Databases, Audio/Visual Materials, Archives, Publications Available from Other Groups, Renewable Energy Blogs, and Wind Energy Mailing Lists. Just a few of AWEA's "Fact Sheets" and informational guides are reproduced below:
AWEA,WindPowerReliability,FactSheet.pdf
AWEA,WindEnergyProductionTaxCreditFactSheet.pdf
AWEA,StructuringABuyDownProgramForSmallRenewableEnergySystems,Recommendations,FactSheet.pdf
AWEA,StateLevelRenewableEnergyPortfolioStandards,FactSheet.pdf
AWEA,NeedForNationalRenewablePortfolioStandard,FactSheet.pdf
AWEA,InvestingInWindPower.pdf
AWEA,FAQForSmallWindSystems.pdf
AWEA,FAQAboutNetMetering.pdf
AWEA,10StepsInBuildingAWindFarm.pdf

5) WIREC Conference - Presentations and Papers. A large number of research materials is available for download, free of charge, at info.acore.org/g/?FHGW41EQ5E. The U.S. Government hosted the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC 2008) at the Washington, DC Convention Center on March 4-6, 2008. The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the leading U.S. renewable energy trade associations hosted the Trade Show co-located with WIREC 2008. The Trade Show at WIREC 2008 was the largest business to business and business to government conference and exposition ever held on all-renewable energies in the U.S. It was be global in scope, hosting exhibitors, speakers and delegates from more than 70+ countries from around the world.

6) American Bar Association Renewable Energy Resources Committee. Check out their home page at www.abanet.org/environ/committees/renewableenergy
...(a) Project: "Best Practices for local governments" - Last year the Committee worked on examining and identifying outstanding examples of local legislation, policies, programs and rules that would facilitate the development of renewable energy, energy efficiency, biofuels and related clean energy technologies (collectively “renewables”). Many states have already mandated minimum renewable generation requirements and provide economic incentives for renewables. Over 600 mayors have signed onto the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. This work is continuing and is being supplemented by an examination of how local comprehensive plans can be crafted to address energy issues. We envision a user-friendly, web-based resource that state, municipal and county leaders can use to develop strategies to promote renewables, and that provides information about laws and regulations to eliminate barriers to renewables development.
....(b) A comprehensive listing of renewable energy links have been added to the Renewable Energy Committee's Web site. These valuable links can assist you in locating incentives, identifying government policies and programs that promote renewables, learning more about specific technologies, and understanding the links between renewable energy and environmental benefits. Check it out at www.abanet.org/environ/committees/renewableenergy/links.html

7) Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. The database is available at DSIREUSA.org. In addition, these recent PowerPoint Presentations from the site are re-posted here as PDF files:
...State Solar Policy -Current Status & Future Outlook
DSIRE,Haynes,StateSolarPolicy,CurrentStatusAndFutureOutlook,March2008.pdf
...U.S. Photovoltaic Markets: PV Policies Leading the Way
DSIRE,Gouchhoe,USPhotovoltaicMarkets,PVPoliciesLeadingTheWay,May2008.pdf

8) The Earth Policy Institute maintains a "bookstore" for those interested in cutting carbon emissions. Visit www.earth-policy.org/Books

9) Al Gore's movement to effect change in solving the climate change predicament.

10) Rocky Mountain Institute® (RMI) is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization. We foster the efficient and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, prosperous, and life-sustaining. Check them out at RMI.org. Register for e-mail newsletters and announcements, including the "RMI Solutions Journal."

11) The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) was created by the Florida Legislature in 1975 to serve as the state’s energy research institute. The main responsibilities of the center are to conduct research, test and certify solar systems and develop education programs. Its mission is to research and develop energy technologies that enhance Florida's and the nation's economy and environment and to educate the public, students and practitioners on the results of the research. As Florida's legislatively-chartered "Type I" energy research institute with a 30-year history of unique expertise, experience and infrastructure, and 150 employees, it is leading research and development efforts to bring a vision of Energy Independence to fruition. Located at the University of Central Florida (Orlando), check it out at http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/about/index.htm

12) The Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) provides a wide range of information and resources to enable the use of alternative fuels (as defined by the Energy Policy Act of 1992), in addition to other petroleum reduction options such as advanced vehicles, fuel blends, idle reduction, and fuel economy. This site is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities initiative. Check it out at http://www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/

13) The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development (R&D). NREL's mission and strategy are focused on advancing the U.S. Department of Energy's and our nation's energy goals. Check it out at http://www.nrel.gov/overview/

14) Mother Earth News. Lots of information about renewable energy - including what you can do at your home. Thank you to Lyn for suggesting this site.

15) More nonprofit associations, based in Washington, D.C. A recent search turned up this "short list" of nonprofit organizations which have some interest in the renewable energy area and which possess offices in or around D.C. As time permits, the CommSupp Group will review these organization's sites and add descriptions of those organizations which provide free recent publications of value:
... Alliance to Save Energy
... American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
... American Council for Renewable Energy
... American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)
... Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
... Efficient Windows Collaborative (EWC)
... Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP)
... Energy Star
... Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium, Inc.
... Global Environment Facility
... National Hydrogen Association
... Portable Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA)
... Renewable Fuels Association
... Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC)
... U. S. Green Building Council
... U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association (USCHPA)
... U.S. Fuel Cell Council
... United States Energy Association (USEA)
... American Wind Energy Association
... Biomass Energy Research Association (BERA)
... Business Council for Sustainable Energy
... Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST)
... Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN)
... Fuel Cells 2000
... Renewable Energy Policy Project (REPP)
... Solar Electric Light Fund
... Solar Electric Power Association
... U.S. Export Council for Renewable Energy
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PART D. RECENT TECHNICAL PAPERS ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: A selection of recent papers, grouped by topic. Abstracts or summaries of each paper are provided, followed by the paper itself in PDF format. The sources of these papers include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, General Accounting Office (GAO), and other government and academic sources. Intended for those who really like to read ...

Sources for Government and Academic Papers include (but are not limited to):
1) Social Science Research Network (www.ssrn.com)
2) "The Information Bridge:" DOE Scientific and Technical Information Papers
3) PESWiki - a "wiki" that focuses on alternative, clean, practical, renewable energy solutions. The site includes "The Top 100 Clean Energy Technologies" - a prioritized listing by the New Energy Congress of the very best clean energy technologies according to ten criteria including: renewable, environmentally friendly, affordable, credible, reliable, developed, safe, and not encumbered by politics of science.
4) General Accounting Office (www.gao.org) - occassional reports from this U.S. Governement watchdog agency, of relevance to energy developments and policies.

Comparisons of Alternative Energy Technologies or Deployment Costs; Public Policies and Taxation

The best mix of renewable energy technologies at a site depends on: renewable energy resources; technology characterization (such as installed cost, maintenance costs, efficiency); state, utility and federal incentives; and economic parameters (discount rate, inflation rates). Early in a planning process it is necessary to keep the analysis simple and inexpensive, but each of these effects needs to be represented for the results to be useful ... This paper describes a method for determining the combination of renewable energy technologies that minimize life-cycle cost at a facility, often with a specified goal regarding percent of energy use from renewable sources.
NREL,RenewableEnergyPlanning,MultiparametricCostOptimization.pdf

This paper reviews energy system developments between 2000 and 2006 and presents policy recommendations to move the United States toward a more sustainable energy system. Governments can play a central role in the development of sustainable energy by guiding market forces and acting as a bulwark against human avarice. Policies can encourage increased use of renewables on the supply side and improved efficiency and conservation on the demand side. The European Union, Japan, and China have articulated national and international targets for sustainable energy. This paper presents five federal-government level policy recommendations to improve sustainability in the U.S.
BerkeleyNatLab,SustainableAndUnsustainableDevelopmentsInUSEnergySystem.pdf

These slides provide an overview of past federal and state tax policies relating to renewable energy.
NREL,RenewableEnergyFinancing,TheRoleOfPolicyAndEconomics,March2008.pdf

Wind Energy, Transmission Capability, and Grid Load Analyses

"Wind Powering America," a short informational brochure produced by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and other organizations.
WindPoweringAmericaBrochure.pdf

"Diversifying America's Energy Future: The Future of Renewable Wind Power," by
Ronald H. Rosenberg, William and Mary Law School, published in the Virginia Environmental Law Journal, Vol. 26, p. 505, 2008. This article reviews the arguments pro and con relating to large scale expansion of wind energy facilities in the United States. It also examines the existing government policy encouraging renewable energy development as an alternative to conventional forms of electricity. It concludes that wind power, if properly located, can contribute an important amount of electricity to the American energy grid. The paper examines national and state government policies in some detail, suggests that If wind power is to become an important contributor to American energy supply in the future, at
least six steps must be taken. To download this article, go to: Article (then select "Choose Download Location").

"Wind Power, National Security, and Sound Energy Policy," by Elizabeth Burleson, of Amnesty International, to be published in the Penn State Environmental Law Review. Wind-generated electricity in the United States has grown by more than 400 percent since 2000. According to the Department of Energy, 6 percent of US land could supply more than one and a half times the current electricity consumption of the country. Yet, challenges remain in matching demand for electricity with supply of wind as well as achieving grid parity. Careful wind turbine and transmission line siting can occur through cooperation between federal, state, tribal, and civil society participation in decision-making. Tribal wind initiatives have shown that developing wind power can also benefit rural communities. Congress should pass a national renewable energy standard of at least 20 percent renewable energy by 2020, guided by ongoing scientific understanding of measures required to avert severe climate change. A timely transition to wind-generated electricity and other environmentally sound technologies can achieve an effective and equitable US energy policy. To download the article, go to Paper (and select "Choose Download Location").

This paper analyzes the technical feasibility, impacts, costs, and benefits of supplying 20% of the nation’s electricity supply from wind technology by 2030. Though it does not explore the potential policy incentives that would be needed to achieve high levels of wind penetration in the U.S., it does intend to inform such discussions with credible analysis of the potential costs and benefits of such policies.
NREL,PowerSystemModelingOf20PercentWindGeneratedElectricityBy2030.pdf

Economic Benefits, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emissions Reductions, and Water Conservation Benefits from 1,000 Megawatts (MW) of New Wind Power in Various States: Building and operating 1000 MW of wind power requires a significant investment. But this investment will generate substantial direct, indirect, and induced economic benefits for Arkansas. Direct benefits include jobs, land-lease payments, and increased tax revenues. Indirect benefits include benefits to businesses that support the wind farm. Induced benefits result from additional spending on goods and services in the area surrounding the development. [If you are in any of these states, make certain your Congressman and Senators receive a copy of the applicable report, from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.]
Arkansas,BenefitsOfNewWindPowerInArkansas.pdf
Georgia,BenefitsOfNewWIndPower.pdf
Indiana,BenefitsOfNewWindPower.pdf
Kansas,BenefitsOfNewWindPower.pdf
Maryland,BenefitsOfNewWindPower.pdf
Michigan,BenefitsOfNewWindPower.pdf
Nebraska,BenefitsOfNewWindPower.pdf
NewYork,BenefitsOfNewWindPower.pdf
Ohio,BenefitsOfWindPower.pdf
Virginia,BenefitsOfNewWindPower.pdf

The U.S. wind power market surged in 2007, shattering previous records, with 5,329 MW of new capacity added, bringing the cumulative total to 16,904 MW. This growth translates into roughly $9 billion (real 2007 dollars) invested in wind project installations in 2007, for a cumulative total of nearly $28 billion since the 1980s ... Federal tax incentives, state renewables portfolio standards (RPS), concern about global climate change, and continued uncertainty about the future costs and liabilities of natural gas and coal facilities helped spur this intensified growth ... The yearly boom-and-bust cycle that characterized the U.S. wind market from 1999 through 2004—caused by periodic, short-term extensions of the federal
production tax credit (PTC)—has now been replaced by three consecutive years of sizable growth. With the PTC currently (as of early-May 2008) set to expire at the end of the year, 2008 is expected to be another year of sizable capacity additions. Unless the PTC is extended before mid-to-late 2008, however, a return
to the boom-and-bust cycle can be expected in 2009.
NREL,AnnualReportonUSWindPowerInstallation,Cost,Performance,May2008.pdf

Recently, seven states have created transmission infrastructure authorities to help facilitate, enable, and perhaps finance new transmission facilities to access new energy resources including renewable energy. In general, these transmission infrastructure authorities are modeled after state finance or development authorities and are empowered to issue bonds in support of transmission (and, in some cases, generation and distribution) facilities. These state transmission infrastructure authorities do not rely on the full faith and credit of the state in issuing bonds. Instead, the bonds issued will likely be revenue bonds that must be secured by a revenue stream from the transmission investment, such as usage charges or lease payments. As a general matter, the bonds are exempt from state taxes but are still subject to federal taxes. This report examines the status and future direction of state transmission infrastructure authorities. The report begins by summarizing common characteristics of state transmission infrastructure authorities, goes on to discuss some transmission projects that state infrastructure authorities are involved in and then outlines common issues the state infrastructure authorities have faced. The report closes with some recommendations.
NREL,StateTransmissionInfrastructureAuthorities,TheStorySoFar.pdf

Wind energy will continue to grow at a rapid pace and will provide an increasingly large portion of the total electricity generation. To achieve its full potential, the industry needs adequate wind-turbine generator (WTG) dynamic models to determine the impact of adding wind generation, and establish how the system needs to be upgraded.
NationalRenewableEnergyLab,ValidationofWindEnergyPowerPlanDynamicModels,July2008.pdf

This research shows that economic development impacts can be dramatically enhanced through the development of local wind power manufacturing industries. It was determined that if 10% of the wind turbine supply, for 1000 megawatts (MW) of development, is manufactured in-state, then construction-period economic development benefits are 68% greater than if all wind turbines are imported from out of state. On a secondary level, benefits are enhanced by developing and maintaining a skilled operations and maintenance labor force. Preliminary work shows that ownership structures that rely on local equity are likely to enhance in-state economic benefits, but the research suggests the majority of this benefit will accrue from the return on equity associated with a profitable wind project. Finally, the researchers find that the economic development impacts of wind are generally forecast to exceed those of coal (except in some cases when coal consumed in new coal power plants is supplied by an in-state mining industry).
NationalRenewableEnergyLab,VariablesAffectingEconomicDevelopmentOfWindEnergy,July2008.pdf

The growth of wind energy has mushroomed over the past decade. Over the next twenty years, there will be more significant growth in wind energy with the expectation of 20% wind grid penetration by 2030. To accommodate this amount of wind power into our grid, the infrastructure of the transmission grid must be improved. In the high penetration scenario, the ability of wind power plants to stay connected during disturbances is important to avoid a cascading effect due to lack of generation. So-called voltage ride-through capability has become a key criterion for wind integration. This paper analyzes the fault characteristics observed at a wind power plant, and the behavior of the wind power plant under fault events.
NationalRenewableEnergyLab,FaultAnalysisAtAWindPowerPlantForOneYearOfObservation,July2008.pdf

"Impact of Policy Uncertainty on Renewable Energy Investment: Wind Power and PTC" by Merrill Jones Barradale, University of California, Berkeley (January 17, 2008). It is generally understood that the pattern of repeated expiration and short-term renewal of the federal production tax credit (PTC) causes a boom-bust cycle in wind power plant investment in the U.S. This on-off pattern is detrimental to the wind industry, since ramp-up and ramp-down costs are high, and players are deterred from making long-term investments. It is widely assumed that the severe downturn in investment during "off" years is evidence that wind power is unviable without the PTC. However, as this paper demonstrates, the volatility of investment associated with the PTC is unrelated to the underlying economics of wind; instead it is due to the dynamic of power purchase agreement (PPA) negotiations in the face of uncertainty. The PTC is not the only means, existing or potential, for encouraging wind power investment. Various alternative policy incentives are considered and compared in terms of their perceived reliability for supporting long-term investment. To download the paper, go to Paper (then: "Choose Download Location).

This paper focuses on an effort to develop an equivalent representation of a WPP collector system for power system planning studies. The layout of the WPP, the size and type of conductors used, and the method of delivery (overhead or buried cables) all influence the performance of the collector system inside the WPP. Our effort to develop an equivalent representation of the collector system for WPPs is an attempt to simplify power system modeling for future developments or planned expansions of WPPs.
NationalRenewableEnergyLab,MethodOfEquivalencingForALargeWindPowerPlant.pdf

When wind power plants serve load within the host balancing area, there is no additional capacity that is required to integrate wind power into the system. The wind energy displaces conventional generators’ energy, which may result in emission and fuel savings, or make it possible to sell additional energy to other customers outside the balancing area. This provides a benefit to the sellers and customers. When wind serves load outside of the host balancing area, there can be additional capacity requirements, but these will depend in part on the length of the market period: faster markets will mitigate this requirement, whereas slower markets will exacerbate this capacity requirement. We develop a series of very simple thought experiments to illustrate and discuss some implications for wind integration studies.
NationalRenewableEnergyLab,ExaminationOfCapacityAndRampingImpactsOfWindEnergyOnPowerSystems,July2008.pdf

California is on a path to increase utilization of renewable resources. California will need to integrate approximately 30,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewable generation in the next 20 years. Renewable resources are typically located in remote locations, not near the load centers. Nearly two-thirds or 20,000 MW of new renewable resources needed are likely to be delivered to Los Angeles Basin transmission gateways. Integration of renewable resources requires interconnection to the power grid, expansion of the transmission system capability between the backbone power grid and transmission gateways, and increase in delivery capacity from transmission gateways to the local load centers.
California Energy Project, Renewable Resource Intergration, Transmission.pdf

On February 26, 2008, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) called for an Emergency Electric Curtailment Plan (EECP) at 18:41 due to a worsening imbalance between generation and load which led to a decline in system frequency. The event is of special interest, and was widely reported on in the press, because wind generation played a partial role in the event. With a more accurate generation and demand forecast, ERCOT could have easily scheduled additional generation to be available in advance of the evening load pickup and avoided the need for this emergency response. The event itself lasted less than
two hours and no customers lost power involuntarily.
NationalRenewableEnergyLab,ERCOTEventOnFeb26,2008,LessonsLearned,WindEnergyImpactsLoads.pdf

Natural Gas

The Department of Energy (DOE) has undertaken research and development (R&D) for oil and natural gas since its inception in the late 1970s. Historically, the federal government has entered into cost-sharing agreements with universities, state agencies, and independent companies to help fund these R&D efforts, which were often long-term, high-risk projects with variable results. In recent appropriations, DOE’s funding for oil and natural gas R&D was significantly reduced.
GAOreDOE,OilandNatualGasResearchandDevelopmentActivities.pdf

With regard to the ability of U.S. coal-burning, electricity-generating units to switch to natural gas, according to available data and key stakeholders, the ability of these units to switch is limited by high natural gas prices, supply constraints, and existing infrastructure. In addition, increasing the nation’s use of natural gas for electricity generation could result in adverse economic consequences. Natural gas currently costs about four times more than coal per British thermal unit and has shown a relatively higher rate of price increases and volatility over time relative to coal, according to EIA. In addition to higher fuel costs, supply constraints limit the practicality of replacing electricity generated from coal with natural gas. The United States has limited capability to meet the growing demand for natural gas with domestic production and would need to become increasingly dependent on international supplies of natural gas if there was widespread switching to natural gas from coal.
GAO,EconomicAndOtherImplicationsOfSwitchingFromCoalToNaturalGasAtTheCapitolAndAtElectricityGeneratingUnitsNationwide.pdf

Solar Energy

This PowerPoint presentation explores the current solar energy technologies, variables affecting their deployment (solar resource, land\roof area water requirements, cost and financial considerations), trade-offs between central versus distributed systems, and future trends
NREL,ThePromiseOfSolar,VariablesToConsider.pdf

A number of revenue streams, incentives, and financial structures can be utilized by state and municipal governments who want to support solar projects. PV systems produce two main products that can be sold in the marketplace: electricity and the green attributes of this electricity. For any particular solar PV project, the revenue will depend on its geographic location, the quality of the resource, and access to purchasers that place a high value on solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). For state and local governments, several methods of financing the production of these goods are available, including systems benefit charge (SBC) funds, issuance of energy bonds, clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs) approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and federal renewable energy production incentives (REPI). Additionally, private sector financiers are able to take advantage of another set of incentives, which include the federal investment tax credit (ITC) and accelerated depreciation under the federal Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). Finally, there may be additional state, local, or utility incentives available to further reduce the installed costs of PV. The primary vehicle that has emerged to finance public-sector PV is the third-party ownership model because it allows the public-sector systems to take advantage of federal tax incentives without a large up-front outlay of capital. Under this structure the government entity hosts, but does not own, a solar PV system and is able to secure, on average, 15- to 25-year fixed-price power at or below current retail rates. The combination of these options has led to the installation of many PV systems with the transactions increasing both in terms of size and complexity. In this paper, the mechanisms underlying these transactions are analyzed in detail, and their specific relevance to state and local governments is explored.
NREL,SolarPVFinancing,DeploymentOnPublicPropoertyByStateAndLocalGovernments.pdf

Today’s photovoltaic (PV) industry is growing at a rapid rate, but the industry would grow even faster if costs could be reduced for both the final products and the capital investment required for scale-up. One strategy for reducing module cost is to reduce the amount of semiconductor material needed (the cost of the silicon solar cells typically comprises more than one-half of the module cost). Many companies are thinning the silicon wafers to reduce costs incrementally; others use thin-film coatings on low-cost substrates (such as amorphous/microcrystalline silicon, cadmium telluride, or copper gallium indium diselenide on glass or other substrates). CPV follows a complementary approach and uses concentrating optics to focus the light onto small cells. The optics may be designed for low or high concentration. Low-concentration concepts use silicon or other low-cost cells; high-concentration optics may use more expensive, higher-efficiency cells. The higher-efficiency cells can reduce the cost per watt if the cost of the small cells is minimal. Recently, concentrator cells have been reaching increasingly impressive efficiencies, inspiring new interest in the high-efficiency, high-concentration approach ... When compared with solar thermal approaches, CPV provides a qualitatively different approach, typically with lower water usage, greater flexibility in size of installation, and the ability to respond more quickly when the sun returns on a cloudy day. The tracking used for CPV also implies relatively higher electricity production per installed kilowatt, compared with fixed flat plate ... With the overall PV market growing in the gigawatt range, CPV has an opportunity to enter the market with production of tens or hundreds of megawatts per year. This is significant because CPV is unlikely to achieve low costs when manufacturing at less than tens of megawatts per year.
NREL,OpportunitiesAndChallengesForDevelopmentOfMatureConcentratingPVPowerIndustry.pdf

Using transpired solar collectors to preheat ventilation air has recently become recognized as an economic alternative for integrating renewable energy into commercial buildings in heating climates. The collectors have relatively low installed costs and operate on simple principles. Theory and performance testing have shown that solar collection efficiency can exceed 70% of incident solar. However, implementation and current absorber designs have adversely affected the efficiency and associated economics from this initial analysis. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has actively studied this technology and monitored performance at several installations.
NationalRenewableEnergyLab,EvaluatingTranspiredSolarCollectorsForCommercialApplications.pdf

Hydrogen Fuels

Renewable energy (RE) sources such as photovoltaic (PV), wind, biomass, hydro, and geothermal can provide clean and sustainable energy for our nation. Several of these options are already cost-competitive and are contributing nearly 10% of the U.S. electricity supply. Limiting greater penetration of some of these renewable energy sources, however, is their inherent variability and seasonal energy production. One solution to this problem is to produce hydrogen through the electrolysis of water and use the hydrogen in a fuel cell or internal combustion engine to produce electricity during times of peak demand or as a transportation fuel. Currently, this approach is hindered, in part, by the difficulty of producing hydrogen from these RE sources in a cost-competitive manner. In addition to the ongoing efforts to reduce the cost of RE technologies and to lower the capital requirements for electrolyzers, these renewable electrolysis systems must be optimized and tailored to realize the most cost-competitive option for electricity and hydrogen production.
NationalRenewableEnergyLab,RenewableHydrogen,Integration,Validation,AndDemonstration,July2008.pdf

DOE has reduced the cost of producing hydrogen from natural gas, an important source of hydrogen through the next 20 years; developed a sophisticated model to identify and optimize major elements of a projected hydrogen delivery infrastructure; increased by 50 percent the storage capacity of hydrogen, a key element for increasing the driving range of vehicles; and reduced the cost and improved the durability of fuel cells. However, some of the most difficult technical challenges lie ahead, including finding a technology that can store enough hydrogen on board a vehicle to achieve a 300-mile driving range, reducing the cost of delivering hydrogen to consumers, and further reducing the cost and improving the durability of fuel cells.
GAO,HydrogenFuelInitiative,DOEHasMadeImportantProgress.pdf

Conservation Measures

The EnergyGuide program has changed little over time, even though energy consumption patterns are changing substantially. For example, televisions,10 computers, and other product categories––which are expected to account for nearly half of household energy consumption by the year 2020––do not currently require an EnergyGuide label ... FTC is not required to, and does not, independently verify energy consumption estimates provided by manufacturers ... FTC does not know whether EnergyGuide is available to consumers because it has undertaken no significant efforts since 2001 to ensure EnergyGuide’s availability to consumers in showrooms and on Web sites ... Overall, Energy Star has been generally successful in identifying and highlighting the most energy efficient products, but faces some challenges.
GAO,EnergyEfficiency,OpportunitiesExistForFederalAgenciesToBetterInformHouseholdConsumers.pdf

Uncertainty surrounding the nature and timing of future carbon regulations poses a fundamental and far-reaching financial risk for electric utilities and their ratepayers. Long-term resource planning provides a potential framework within which utilities can assess carbon regulatory risk and evaluate options for mitigating exposure to this risk through investments in energy efficiency and other low-carbon resources. In this paper, we examine current resource planning practices related to managing carbon regulatory risk, based on a comparative analysis of the most-recent long-term resource plans filed by fifteen major utilities in the Western U.S. Energy efficiency and renewables are the dominant low-carbon resources included in utilities’ preferred portfolios. Across the fifteen utilities, energy efficiency constitutes anywhere from 6% to almost 50% of the preferred portfolio energy resources, and represents 22% of all incremental resources in aggregate.
BerkeleyNationalLab,PursuingEnergyEfficiencyAsAHedgeAgainstCarbonRegulatoryRisks.pdf

Nuclear Energy

DOE has determined that the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) nuclear reactor will be a very-high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (VHTR) for the production of electricity, process heat, and hydrogen. The VHTR can provide high-temperature process heat (up to 950 ºC) that can be used as a substitute for the burning of fossil fuels for a wide range of commercial applications. Since the VHTR is a new and unproven reactor design, the NRC will need to adapt its licensing requirements and process, which have historically evolved around light-water reactor (LWR) designs, for licensing the NGNP nuclear reactor.
DOE,NextGenerationNuclearPlantLicensingStrategy,ReportToCongress.pdf

Electric Vehicles

The nationwide effects that are expected as a result of PHEVs will be accounted for in the societal benefits section of the MBM. These non-monetary values will help to significantly lessen the magnitude of several negative impacts traditionally linked to conventional vehicles. For instance, reduced fuel usage will ultimately decrease the country’s dependence on foreign oil while strengthening national security. Similarly, reduced greenhouse gas or other emissions from PHEVs may ultimately improve air quality and climate change efforts. Finally, increased amounts of PHEVs plugged in during off-peak hours could increase the percentage of renewable energy used in the generation mix, which may reduce the costs (e.g., compared to installation of fixed energy storage) needed for utilities to meet state renewable portfolio standards (RPS).
OakRidgeNationalLab,PlugInHybridElectricVehicleValuePropositionStudy,July2008.pdf

Federal Budgets For Energy Research

DOE’s energy R&D funding alone will not be sufficient to deploy advanced energy technologies, coordinating energy R&D with other federal energy-related programs and policies will be important. In addition, other governments and the private sector will play a key role in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies that can change the nation’s energy portfolio.
GAO,AdvancedEnergyTechnologies,BudgetTrendsAndChallengesForDOEEnergyRandDProgram.pdf

Oil Supply, Demand, Refining

For most of the past 25 years, there has been excess refining capacity globally, but this excess has shrunk considerably in recent years as demand has increased faster than capacity growth, causing refineries to run closer to their production capacity, and contributing to recent increases in petroleum product prices, price volatility, and refining profits. However, experts say it is unclear whether or for how long the current market tightness will continue, in part because of uncertainties about how much additional refining capacity will actually be built ... The nation’s petroleum product supply infrastructure is constrained in key areas and is likely to become increasingly constrained, unless timely investments are made. A constrained supply infrastructure can exacerbate price effects and price volatility due to a supply disruption.
GAO,EnergyProducts,IncreasingGlobalizationOfMarkets,TighteningRefiningDemandAndSupplyBalance,ImplicationsForTheUS.pdf
..

Discussion Forum

Presentation at a Georgia Rotary Club 09-16-08

Started by Ed and Harriet Griffith Sep 15, 2008.

Attendance at Events and Conferences

Started by jrwondra Sep 6, 2008.

Show your colors 5 Replies

Started by Ken Morgan. Last reply by Becky Sep 2, 2008.

Comment Wall

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Comment by Kathy Lee Hart on September 3, 2008 at 12:42am

Actors, Directors & Production Artists for TBP PLAN (click here)
I leave this for you & those passing this way. Our new video "WE'VE HAD ENOUGH - NO TANKS!" The style is animated cartoon. Please feel free to attach it to personal emails, to attract others to the Plan.
Sit back, relax & have a giggle!


Find more videos like this on PickensPlan
Comment by Ron A. Rhoades on September 1, 2008 at 5:17pm
Petition Drive Idea? Several individual members of the PickensPlan have advanced the idea of a "petition drive" - i.e., have downloadable/printable petitions, then seek individuals to sign them outside stores, in non-governmental offices, at colleges, county and state fairs, outside sporting events, etc. A brief "handout" on the PickensPlan could also be given, or "business cards" or "stickers" - at the same time. All of the petitions would then be gathered and delivered en masse to Congress.

I believe this is a very good idea, in that it is: (a) proactive; (b) results in tangible evidence (boxes and boxes of signed petitions) that might influence Congress; (c) could lead to a surge of members of the PickensPlan (imagine the handout containing instructions for signing up as a member); and (d) provides a real sense of accomplishment to the members who are participating.

Will the PickensPlan support this idea, if not immediately then by scheduling it for a later "Call to Action"? Please advise the PickensPlan Sweetwater Office at tp://push.pickensplan.com/profile/PickensPlanSweetwaterOffice if you believe this idea has merit and should be pursued. Thank you. Ron (who is just a member).
Comment by Ron A. Rhoades on August 30, 2008 at 6:25pm
This Labor Day weekend, I'd like to pause and express my personal gratitude to the hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers who have contributed to this movement. Again and again I am informed that the motivation for their ongoing efforts - this "labor" of love - is not so much the PickensPlan itself, but rather the realization that this nation cannot continue to proceed down the same path as it has in the past.

Permit me to comment on why it is so important to reach out to our policy-makers (including candidates for office).

Perhaps the biggest threat to America is complacency. It is the force which has doomed so many great civilizations and nations in the past. Responding to this threat, millions of American citizens are presently involved in national, state, and local political campaigns - whether to support a candidate or an idea. And there exists super-majority support for renewable energy development and deployment, aided by a cohesive, common-sense national energy policy.

But transforming support for a policy into action by those in Congress and the new Administration, as well within state and local government, will not be easy. The influence that large corporations possess upon political decision-making in this country should not be underestimated. Nor should the effect of their ongoing manipulation of public opinion through targeted multi-media campaigns, to downplay the problem of America's overdependence on foreign oil and the huge foreign trade deficits to which it substantially contributes.

A RATIONAL INCREASE IN OUR NATION'S R&D BUDGET FOR SOLAR, WIND, AND OTHER PROMISING TECHNLOGIES IS NEEDED. Evidence of the influence of large corporations can be found in the U.S. Department of Energy's own budget for research and development. While funding for renewable energy sources has increased recently, funding for research into traditional energy sources - fossil fuels and nuclear power - remain nearly equal to the budget devoted to renewable energy sources. Moreover, a comparison of DOE’s fiscal year 2009 budget request with the fiscal year 2008 appropriation shows that renewable energy R&D would decline slightly, while fossil energy R&D and nuclear energy R&D would increase by 34 percent and 44 percent, respectively. WHY? One also wonders why "Big Oil" even needs further research into fossil energy, given both the huge profits oil companies have generated in recent years, as well as what should be a national effort to reduce our nation's carbon footprint. Since fiscal year 2006, DOE has proposed to terminate its oil and natural gas R&D programs, but Congress - under the influence of "Big Oil" - continues to fund them.

Note that DOE also conducts R&D on near-zero emission power plants—including carbon capture and sequestration—through its fuels and power systems programs and its Clean Coal Power Initiative. Worthwhile programs, for coal remains an inexpensive (if one does not consider its emissions and carbon footprint) and domestic source of energy for our country. If carbon sequestration and "zero emissions" coal plants can come online, then most of the negative impacts of coal-fueled energy production can be overcome while keeping relative costs low.

Of the renewable energy research budget at the Dept. of Energy, the recent R&D focus in renewable energy has been (in order of expenditures): (1) biomass-derived ethanol, (2) hydrogen-powered fuel cells, (3) wind technologies, and (4) solar technologies.

While I agree that funding of all of these technologies should be undertaken, the continued focus on ethanol production needs closer examination. This is especially so given the already-apparent effects in stimulating demand for corn and other agricultural products, leading to major price increases for agricultural commodities and thereby adding to hunger around the world. Additionally, ethanol faces high production and infrastructure costs, creating challenges in competing with gasoline nationally over the long term. I'm not suggesting we abandon research and development of ethanol technologies - but I am intensely curious why the more-promising wind and solar industries (from an overall cost-benefit analysis), as well as hydrogen, lack behind in research dollars. The influence of large corporate agricutural corporations, no doubt.

In contrast to the high amount of dollars devoted to fossil fuel R&D and nuclear R&D, DOE’s fiscal year 2009 budget request would reduce funding for the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative by 17 percent from $283.5 million in fiscal year 2008 to $236 million in fiscal year 2009. Research for solar energy would fall from $168.5 million to $156.1 million. Research for wind energy would only see a very modest increase from $49.5 million to $52.5 million.

DOE’s budget authority for all of its renewable, fossil, and nuclear energy R&D has rebounded over the past 10 years from extremely low levels to $1.4 billion annually. But one wonders why so little of our national budget is devoted to this R&D effort, and why so little of the R&D budget at the DOE is devoted to the promising areas of wind energy and solar energy. (Of course, other programs, within the DOE, and in other agencies such as the Dept. of Defense and Dept. of Agriculture, also undertake research related to energy.)

[For details on the DOE budget for research, please refer to the GAO report found at this link: http://74.125.45.104/search?q=cache:fmqt0s40R7AJ:www.gao.gov/new.it...

THE NEED FOR LONGER-TERM TAX CREDITS.

According to the Cato Institute, "The USDA distributes between $10 billion and $30 billion in cash subsidies to farmers and owners of farmland each year ... More than 90 percent of agriculture subsidies go to farmers of five crops—wheat, corn, soybeans, rice, and cotton. Roughly a million farmers and landowners receive subsidies, but the payments are heavily tilted toward the largest producers ... In addition to routine cash subsidies, the USDA provides subsidized crop insurance, marketing support, and other services for farm businesses ... These indirect subsidies and services cost taxpayers about $5 billion each year, putting total farm support at between $15 billion and $35 billion annually.

How about tax credits for oil companies and other "perks"? The environmental group Friends of the Earth says the U.S. federal tax code contains more than $17 billion in breaks to benefit the oil and gas industry for fiscal years 2007-11. That $17 billion is made up mainly of tax breaks newly offered or extended in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, including a "percentage depletion allowance" that allows oil companies to deduct 15% of their sales revenue, to reflect the declining value of their investment, and 70% of their drilling costs. Additionally, oil and gas companies pay reduced royalty fees on products they recover from federally owned waters, which Friends of the Earth says could cost taxpayers $65 billion over five years.

If we look deeper at federal tax policy, we find that the federal government provides the energy industry and consumers with 20 tax expenditures affecting energy supply, totaling $6.3 billion in fiscal year 2007 and $4.9 billion in fiscal year 2008. These tax subsidies have historically been directed toward the conventional energy sector (oil and gas), though recently a small portion has also been directed toward stimulating the deployment of advanced energy technologies.

It must be noted that the renewable energy industry cannot serious expand if future tax credits are uncertain - long-term production tax credits and investment tax credits for renewable energy deployment are needed, not short-term extensions. As stated in a July 28th article in U.S. News and World Report, "uncertainty about key federal tax credits threatens to knock the wind out of the wind-power industry [and the lights out of solar energy] ... Nearly every American-bred source of energy, from coal to nuclear power, gets some sort of federal push, and wind and solar companies receive theirs in the form of tax credits, which enable them to line up investors and overcome enormous start-up costs. Hundred-foot blades don't come cheap."

Of course, the tax credits for wind and solar energy companies expire at the end of 2008, and despite widespread support for their continuation Congress is still bickering (about offshore oil drilling, mainly). Even then, at best we might hope for a one-year extension, not the multi-year extension which makes much more sense.

The tax credits need to be available for several years, as to promoting wind and solar projects to "go online." By way of explanation, it takes substantial time to put together a project, arrange financing, order production of the windmills, and then install them. The wind-energy tax credit is good for 10 years and pays developers about 2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of electricity they produce, but it must be available on the date that a project comes online. By contrast, the solar industry gets a 30 percent credit on new investments, and while it is easier to deploy technologies, serious development in new plants to produce the thin-film PV solar and other new solar technologies will only occur if Congress enacts credits which are available over several years.

GET REAL. America faces serious problems. We don't need to send to Washington politicians who want to go there just because of the title of "U.S. Senator" or "U.S. Representative." Nor do we want to send to Washington politicians who receive (and are influenced heavily by) large corporations - oil, gas, and agricultural conglomerates among them.

This is a serious time. America needs serious leadership. Those who will address our nation's challenges (and there are many) head-on. Those whose focus is not about getting re-elected.

It is time for us - all of us - to ask candidates for office the tough questions - and get serious responses. It is time for us to elect those who are truly committed to solving our country's many problems.

Together, we CAN make a difference. It will take commitment. It will take effort. It will take - labor.

Happy Labor Day to all. Ron
Comment by FredDC on August 30, 2008 at 5:19pm
Hi Ron. Sorry to hear we need to hold back. The petition idea would have been a great way to get the community excited again, this idle time is hurting, even making some wonder away. I have thought of a new way to get Pickens Plan better organized, I'll drop you a line about it on the email program to get your feedback, don't want to put it out there yet until I get more opinions on it.
Comment by Tom Zellars on August 25, 2008 at 7:08pm
The END ALL power solution for our cars - It's AIR!!!

Fellow PickensPlan members,

Do I have news for you! I and fellow Air Car advocate and PickensPlan member, FutureMedia, have finally created an Air Car group! You may be asking, "What is an Air Car?" The name says it all! It's a car powered PURELY by compressed air; in all terms of the word! Can you imagine: a car that doesn't require a fill-up EVER, just an air compressor and a few dollars worth of electricity! The Air Car can run 200 miles on a single tank, many of the prototypes using three or more tanks. The technology is simple, utilizing similar engine technology of a gas engine, minus combustion. Instead of combusting fuel to turn a piston, it uses compressed air, which is just as affective but creates absolutely no pollution. Compressed air technology is quite flexible and since the piston technology is basically the same, the engine can be made as big or as small as desired. I've heard of almost every car fuel technology available and none of them seem as practical as air! I hear talk of natural gas, electricity, biofuels, ethanol, biogas, hydrogen, algae-oil, methanol, butanol, you name it! There are so many technologies being offered, but none of them are in the production stage. All of them require a middleman to produce them, all of them pollute in some way, all of them require fill-ups, and all of them require expensive developmental programs to make them practical. The confusion from all of them coming at once is enough to drive anyone insane! Ask yourself this question; are ANY of these solutions developed right now? Are any of these solutions practical right now? How many car developers have these fuels ready to use RIGHT NOW?! You guessed it! NOT A SINGLE ONE! EXCEPT THE AIR CAR! French inventor and entrepreneur, Guy Negre, has his own company in Nice, France in the final stages of getting his cars on the market. His technology is ten years in the making, so the technology is ready. Negre's team has several full fleets of fully functional prototypes, priced to sell in European markets for 3,500 Euros for the cheapest models. Converting that to American dollars that would be $5,153.12! That is only hypothetically speaking, but those types of prices should apply to U.S. markets. The majority of Negre's cars are sheduled to reach European markets next year and one model (the OneCat) is scheduled for release in late 2008. The cars are also planned to be released in U.S. markets within the next 2 years. I think this technology is wonderful, not only environmentally, but economically as well! Please watch Guy Negre's videos. Enjoy!


Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztFDqcu8oJ4

Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmqpGZv0YT4

Guy Negre's company website:
http://zeropollutionmotors.us

Sincerely,
Tom Zellars
Comment by Ron A. Rhoades on August 25, 2008 at 6:55pm
Recently I was asked about T. Boone Pickens' latest communication to the "Army" - in particular, his advice to hold back and not contact legislators just yet.

In response, I concur with other comments that the new message from T. Boone to the "Army" is a bit perplexing. Another indication that: (1) those in charge have no idea what they've created; (2) those in charge have had, and still don't appear to have, a "plan" evident as to how to proceed with the members; and; (3) the apparent narrow view of the purpose of the "Army" (and this site) is inopposite to the views of the members as to what the members desire to accomplish. I've commented several times on these issues, and have been informed that my comments have been shared with "the group" (whoever that is), but to no avail.

While membership growth has slowed, this is to be expected. It is hard to sustain the effort through the distractions of the Olympics, and now the political conventions. Some loss of initial enthusiasm of members naturally occurs, but I believe a good deal of the loss is self-inflicted by the lack of direction, a greater vision, lack of support, and providing opportunities for members to achieve certain goals.

The PickensPlan membership can (and likely will) have another "growth spurt" - when college students start spreading the word (and getting their family members to join). Hopefully the PickensPlan staff won't ignore this powerful audience.

While I am disappointed in the PickensPlan "home office" for its lack of appropriate communications - I am more convinced than ever of the need to tackle this issue of our overdependence upon foreign oil and the trade deficits to which it contributes. My continuing reading in this area has led me to view a great many technologies which can contribute to solving our energy problems. Public policies should be adopted to promote all of these technologies - through research support (grants), start-up lending (SBA loans, for example), and near-term tax incentives (phasing out over time) which are (to the extent possible) solution-neutral. The deployment of wind energy will be a great contributor to the overall solution (and can be deployed now, at least on a mass scale). Solar devices will play an important role, as well, especially as newer technologies are deployed which substantially increase efficiencies. Transportation solutions will likely come from a combination of hybrid technology in combination with CNG, compressed air, and hydrogen technologies (each of which requires electricity to faciliate local production and deployment). Other technologies - geothermal (of several types), wave energy, tidal forces, and more, are likely.

The challenge will be in deployment of these technologies. Public pressure must be brought for America to adopt longer-term economic policies which foster wide-scale, industrial deployment - at the federal, state and local levels. Pressure must be brought to bear not only on politicians, but also business leaders. There are significant economic forces which oppose research, development and deployment of these technologies, in order to preserve the status quo.

Hence, the need for the "Army." One thing that politicians and public officials respond to more than "money" (political contributions) is the prospect of losing votes, or losing public support.

I hope the PickensPlan will be successful. I just wish it didn't shoot itself in the foot so often. Someone needs to do some speech-writing for T. Boone Pickens in a way that enables him to inspire the Army to act, not by imposing artifical constraints upon them. And someone in the national office (wherever that is) needs to wake up and realize that the PickensPlan members want, and in fact need, both shorter-term achievable goals and longer-term greater vision. And someone needs to know that the members need support - through materials, etc. - but also via the old "reach out and touch" method ... i.e., national organizers who actually travel to, and visit, meetings of members.

Hence, I'm surprised at the "wait a minute for instructions" message of T. Boone. It seems to me one of the golden opportunities which exists is the sponsorship, via a PickensPlan meeting in October in every Congressional district, of an "energy forum" at which the candidates for that office are invited, the sole focus of which forum is a discussion of the federal energy policies. Similar forums could exist in every county (for local offices), with a discussion of how local governments can embrace alternative / renewable energy technologies, adopt building codes for "going green," etc.

There are many good things being done on the PickensPlan site. Many members have devoted countless hours to making this vision of energy independence a success.

I've urged patience before. I must now do so again. Many months lay ahead. Even if you just "lie in wait" and monitor the PickensPlan, waiting for "instructions from above," stay in touch with the Plan. This is too important an issue for our personal frustrations to deny for ourselves the opportunity to make a difference.
Comment by FredDC on August 24, 2008 at 9:56am
Dear Pickens Plan Members. There are many choices for alternative electric energy but the real question is; which is the most cost effective for where I live? Pickens Plan is a NATIONAL plan that promises to bring cost effective energy drawn from the windy Mid-US where the wind is strong and steady and solar power from our dessert areas. The reason for doing this is to free-up natural gas for our transportation fleet, which uses 38% of our imported oil and for automobiles as a second fuel choice. Right now the electric energy generation part of the plan is not as important (unless you live where natural gas or heating oil is used for energy) as moving our transportation away from gasoline and diesel into natural gas. What can you do to help with this? If you have mechanical inclinations learn about using NG as a fuel or if you know mechanics try to steer them into auto/truck conversions that use natural gas as a dual fuel choice. Send letters and emails to your gov. representatives telling them you want them to adopt Pickens Plan. Vote for propositions that offer to expand natural gas distribution for fuel. We need more distribution of NG as a fuel. Sincerely, FredDC
NEWS ITEM: Nancy Pelosi makes personal investment in Pickens Plan. I don’t know how or to whom she gave $50 to 100k (she wasn’t very specific) but she told Tom Brokaw today on Meet the Press. Will have to wait until next week to get the transcript.
Comment by Clynton on August 19, 2008 at 1:58pm
FYI: A move is afoot to update the welcome email message. When that is complete, there will be less of a need for each "veteran" to welcome the new recruits. However, remember that a friendly note of welcome can assure others that we were once where they are - and that we are here to help if needed.
Comment by amy oconnor on August 17, 2008 at 7:33pm
http://www.eco-web.com/index.html - A Global Directory for Environmental Technology

A guide to the full spectrum of environmental products & services, featuring 7,000 leading suppliers from 149 countries. Information about organizations, publications and events is complemented by editorial contributions from distinguished experts in their respective fields. A practical reference source for government departments, utility companies, engineering consultants, development agencies, importers and traders, educational institutes, non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in environmental activities.
Comment by Geri Acuff (Johnston) on August 17, 2008 at 1:13pm
Hi Ron, Thanks for the Welcome you posted on my page. I have been reading the posts in the group. what a great thing you all have going here. If I can help in any way, let me know. I will keep my wheels turning for any ideas I can come up with to help. Thanks again for the personal welcome comment. It really does go along way to be welcomed to the group. I have only recieved 2 welcomes, out of all the groups I have joined.
 

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