Showing posts with label energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label energy. Show all posts

Monday, November 10, 2014

Solar freakin' roadways!

What if . . . ?

Yeah, what if we built solar freakin' roadways?

What if our roads produced power? What if they never needed to be plowed or salted in the winter?

What if they were simple to repair, one panel at a time?

What if?

Yeah, what if we built solar freakin' roadways? The technology is here. Now. Maybe.

What if we produced enough power from our roads that we never had to build another coal-fired power plant? What if we produced all kinds of clean energy . . . from . . . our . . . roads?

What if our roads and parking lots eventually -- perhaps -- paid for themselves?

WHY CAN'T some city start experimenting with solar roadways? Why can't we find out, even if the developers' claims are complete pie in the sky, what the real power output is and what the real, practical benefits are in real-world conditions? Let's get some real data.

Why can't, for instance, Omaha experiment with them? We're doing major streetscaping and urban renovation in several older parts of the city. We're building major new developments around the city. Why not incorporate some solar streets and parking lots into them?

Why not apply for federal grants or matching funds for a large-scale demonstration project?

This country is staring down any number of global-warming, power-generation and infrastructure problems as we stumble forward into an uncertain future. Why not look for ways to help ourselves out of a worsening jam? Why not try this as one potential solution? We have to start somewhere. Why not here?

Well, here and in the Netherlands.

Solar roadways just might be a big part of the solution. And they look cool, too. Let's try it and see what we've really got here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maybe Lee was 'so drunk' . . . again

We have to give Lee Terry the benefit of the doubt for his support of BP's best buddy as chairman of the House energy panel. Maybe that lady lobbyist got him "so drunk" again.

Or maybe the congressman from Omaha is just such an expletive-deleted that he figures he can get re-elected no matter how much contempt he shows for justice, ordinary citizens or the environment. At least it looks that way from this article on Politico:
Eight Republicans Wednesday began circulating a letter indicating support for Texas Rep. Joe Barton in his longshot bid to lead the House Energy and Commerce committee.

Texas Reps. Ralph Hall and Michael Burgess joined with Rep. Lee Terry (Neb.), Cliff Stearns (Fla.), Joe Pitts (Pa.), Steve Scalise (La.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and John Shimkus (Ill.) on a “Dear Colleague” letter, signaling that they are recommending their “friend and colleague, Joe Barton, for the Chairman of our committee in the 112th Congress.”

“You know Joe,” the letter reads. “He has provided unyielding conservative leadership during our protracted partisan battles over cap-and-trade and health care reform.”

It’s the largest measure of public support for Barton, who is term-limited out of the chairmanship this Congress. His staunch lobbying has irked members of the Republican leadership, throwing further into doubt any chance he had at obtaining a waiver of the term limits rule.

What’s notable is that the co-signors are all members of the committee, and are drawing a clear line in the sand against Michigan Rep. Fred Upton. Furthermore, Shimkus and Stearns were both considered contenders for the gavel.

Barton’s main argument for a waiver, something Republican leadership seems averse to, is that his time as ranking Republican on the committee should not count against the term-limit rule – a point Republican leaders thinks is peripheral, and long-settled.

It’s been an ugly fight. Anonymous opposition dumps – which Barton denied having a hand in – have circulated around Capitol Hill, saying Upton is not conservative enough. The Republicans supporting Barton made that point in their letter.
IT'S CLEAR. Only two things matter in Congress anymore -- money and ideology. Matters of right, wrong, people and nation are just the detritus of the modern political process, to be discarded along with your empties after "policy discussions" with the lobbyists.

Maybe you can fool all the people all the time. Until you can't.

The question, however, is whether that "can't" moment in American history does or doesn't arrive before the "It doesn't matter anymore" moment.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Energy by Dave

Oooh ooh, what a little moonlighting can do for Gov. Dave Heineman and, supposedly, the Nebraska economy.

All while weaning America off of evil petroleum. That's the deal reported in the
Omaha World-Herald as Gov. Dave gets out there to "shill, baby, shill":
Heineman said that passage of a law last spring has removed many of the obstacles for privately owned wind farms, but he asked about 45 officials at the Nebraska Wind Forum what else the state needs to do.

"How do we take another quantum leap forward?" the governor asked. "That's where we need your input and advice."

The forum was organized to inform private developers of the changes in state law, and make a pitch to develop new wind farms and wind-energy related manufacturing plants.

Nebraska has some of the best wind resources in the nation, but has lagged behind its neighbors because of obstacles of allowing private electric generation in a state that only allows publicly owned utilities.

Heineman added that the U.S. needs to get serious about reducing its reliance on foreign oil "so our sons and daughters aren't fighting in the Middle East" to preserve the flow of oil.
WORD IS Gov. Dave will be making out even better than the state as a whole from the development of wind energy -- meteorological surveys have identified the best "wind field" in the state as being right outside the governor's office in Lincoln.

The predominance of hot air in the gubernatorial air mass suggests geothermal-energy possibilities as well, experts say.