Hi JoAnn, Here is a way to help and give tools to all of us for getting more RE projects started. I have been pushing for the sell of US Treasury "Energy Independence Savings Bonds". Savings bonds are normally purchased in $25 increments. This gives a way for just about any American to tighten their belts just a bit by skipping a meal at McDonalds or Pizza Hut and buying a RE savings bond to support a project. I need help pushing this project, I've faxed and emailed many in Congress/Senate already. My email is email@example.com. Here is a copy of a fax sent to Nancy Pelosi yesterday:
Honorable Speaker of the House Congresswoman Pelosi,
I am an Electronic Technician Chief in the US Navy with 27 years service stationed overseas. I’m outlying an idea to assist and work with current plans for achieving energy independence. I urge you, as speaker of the house and the driving force to form the select committee on energy independence and global warming, consider for discussion and introduction into the house US Treasury Savings Bonds for Energy Independance.
In WWII America sold war bonds supporting the war effort. When young, my mother told me her primary school raised enough money through bonds to build a tank to support troops. I am impressed with the patriotism and purpose of our greatest generation that accomplished so much.
Selling energy bonds for RE (Renewable Energy) development would lower foreign oil imports and assist with the complex problem of funding. Bonds sold as “Energy S” could support new solar trough plants, “Energy W” to support wind farms, Energy “H” to support hydroelectric plants, Energy “T” to support RE transportation such as electric bullet train routes powered by RE, Energy "C" COOPS for small communities only needing a small quantity of turbines, and Energy “I” for needed infrastructure high voltage power lines to the RE site. Bonds will have the project name and include an artist’s perspective of the project and an American flag. President Obama had great success with the internet during his campaign. In a similar manner, using the internet, energy bonds could have a website listing current projects and an “electronic checkout” could purchase a bond $25 or higher. Simpler methods of payment such as “PAYPAL” and credit cards would be available and after an electronic purchase is complete a color print out of the bond is available with a follow up of the bond in the mail. The website would limit quantity of projects for each category until funding is complete. After a project becomes funded, a new project will be available. A tab on the site will show history and status of previous projects. Purchasers may take great pride in “collecting” and displaying bonds of various RE projects and participating at different levels of financial support. Solar trough plants in the multi-hundred MW size capacity with molten salt energy storage in California, Arizona, and West Texas can provide a major portion of electric needs. North Dakota has potential to support 1/3 of our nations electric needs in it’s class 4 wind zone areas. There are plenty of suitable proposed wind turbine farms now around the nation to significantly increase our RE if funded. Mid sized hydro-electric has not been used in America to it’s full potential. Following the example of our neighbor, Canada, it would provide a significant increase in percentage of electric production. Developing all three we could provide the majority of our electric and heating needs through renewable energy in a "New New Deal" fashion allowing natural gas for transportation as T. Boone Pickens is working for. Bullet train routes have proven a viable alternative to commercial domestic air service and when powered by electricity provided by RE suppliers America would be in the forefront of world technology. Example, I heard of discussion for a commuter train from Denver to Colorado Springs. Such a route built as a renewable energy project with charter requirement legally requiring to only purchase electricity from available renewable energy sources would be a model example. There are many train routes, city bus systems, and government vehicles that can be converted to run from alternative energy sources and fuels. Jobs created would bolster the economy, lower trade deficit, and strengthen national security. I would take great pride in print outs of bonds with graphics of each project I supported and many other Americans would also. The energy bonds could have tax breaks. BLM lands may be a viable place to start for some projects.
I contacted the US treasury department and was told that the marketing department for savings bonds closed several years ago. I was told there would be problems because savings bonds are at the federal level while the projects will be at the state and local level. I disagree and believe that these can easily be figured out in the way of grants to the state and local level using money from the bonds for those specific projects. I was told to check out auctions on the www.treasurydirect.gov website and found them to not apply to citizens wanting to buy savings bonds to support a cause such as energy independance. I was told by the treasury department to look into CREB (Clean Renewable Energy Bonds). I found CREB to be large scale funding that a citizen would not be able to participate in as a US Treasury Energy Independance Bond would provide. If given the tools to participate directly, the power of the citizens of the United States to help achieve energy independance could not be denied. Americans mean well and the Energy Independance Savings bond program will give citizens the power at their level to make it happen. If marketed through a web page, commercials, and to federal employees the word would get out and participation would spread like wildfire.
Mr. Paul Gipe, a resident of Bakersfield CA, an author of several books about wind energy, and recipient of multiple awards as a pioneer in the industry since the 1970's has put a letter I wrote to Senator Dorgan on this subject as well as an older letter I wrote on wind COOP in JAN07. These websites are:
Hello JoAnn, Looks like you have a big fight on your hands. If you live in Michigan, I can understand why you must fight it. Still it is very distracting. Just look at us. Ok. Michigan has been hard hit since Detroit almost defines the state as far as the economy is concerned. Detroit has now gotten a reprieve with a big loan. They need to dramatically change the kind of car they produce. Have you seen Amory Lovins videos? Google it. He is the director of the Rocky Mountain Institute and they have done some great work on efficient use of energy. In one of his videos he make the point very forcefully that cars can get four or five times the mileage as now just by reducing the weight and they can do that by replacing the steel with carbon composits without reducing the rigidity, strength and safety. Can you suggest any way for people as far away as Alabama to get an opinion into your local media or maybe into the car company boardrooms? I will write them. You do so as well. When the economy is doing better people will forget about crazy tax proposals.
If this site goes down the path of a P*%#^@ contest between political groups as one of the members below stated "what these Republicans are trying to do" (This proposal has some support from both sides from what I understand). I want nothing to do with it or you. Remember it will take everyone to fix this, Michigans broken system. So we need to take a long look at this fair tax issue. If its wrong its wrong, Sometime you have to look beyond the end of your nose to find what is best when it comes to the big picture.
We really need to talk I want to be fully current on this issue the people of Michigan deserve better. We have experience a legislature that has failed to hold the automotive indudtry to task and now this. Well the people will have a true lobbyist in Lansing when we take back Lansing and enact policies that promotes a Michigan that works. Please keep me informed. Would you be willing to attend a community conversation with me as a panelist to inform voters?
Thanks for the awareness comments on my page JoAnn. By the way, did you know that phase 1 of wind-farm at Ubly (thumb area) has been done??? I understand that it consists of 48 GE turbines. Also, the 30 turbines at Pigeon are also up and running I understand. Just think, about 1 year ago, we only had 3 large turbines in the state - 1 near Traverse City and 2 near Mackinaw City. Hopefully we are on a roll!!! >>>> Lee
JoAnn: Thursday evening I am attending the regular monthly meeting of the Isabella County Democratic Party, where I will alert them to what these Republicans are trying to do. They will be interested. I also intend to alert other e-mail groups where I am a member. Yes, AARP is a good group to contact; I'm a member, so if you would rather, I'd be glad to contact them for you. There are other groups who will be interested in this. Contacting groups is more efficient than contacting individuals, but I'm sure glad you contacted me.
Best wishes, JoAnn.
What I read on the second pdf was essentially a VAT (Value Added Tax) which Europe is rife with, and we DON'T need...
I still maintain a flat 10%, businesses and people alike, would be fair. Everybody pays the same - 10% - no one is paying more, or less. The actual dollar amount of course would vary, but still remain 10% of the individuals income.
Yes, I'd pay more in taxes, but just think of the IRS (Federal & State!) employees it would put out of work because of the simplicity. Hech, I'd do it just for that...
Thank you, JoAnn. You've given me the details I needed -- just what I suspected about the plan. I certainly will fight the plan here in Isabella County and with friends I have elsewhere in Michigan. I appreciate hearing from you.
Joel Welty, Blanchard, Michigan