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RE: FW: [hreg] Game Changers

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  • Tyra Rankin
    Charlie: Great idea! I don t know when Sundance opens the theater. Having it at Rice would be terrific. Tyra _____ From: hreg@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 7, 2011



      Great idea!  I don’t know when Sundance opens the theater.  Having it at Rice would be terrific.




      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of chasmauch@...
      Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 3:58 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: FW: [hreg] Game Changers




      Do you know when Sundance will open at the old Angelica? If there will be a long delay we could always show the movies at Rice Media Center .




      In a message dated 4/7/2011 2:33:49 P.M. Central Daylight Time, tyra@... writes:



      Who Killed the Electric Car is a great movie!!  Just coming out is Revenge of the Electric Car. 


      We may be able to have a local premier of Revenge, hosting a party.

      The Angelica theater downtown is leaving and Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinema will open in its place.  It would be a great locale; we could get a good audience for a double header including the premier of Revenge, featuring both films.


      From: ChasMauch@... [mailto:ChasMauch@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 10:27 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com ; tyra@...
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Game Changers

      We need to understand what we are up against when trying to change our economy from dependence on oil and switch to renewables. Our present dependence on the automobile was not an accident. Other interests were at work besides subsidies and market forces.

      I have a DVD entitled "Who killed the electric car?" which tells a very interesting story about what happened and why, which we might want to view at one of our meetings. A trailer can be viewed at this link:  http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/electric.html

      Another story entitled "Taken for a Ride" reveals the tragic and little known story of an auto and oil industry campaign, led by General Motors, to buy and dismantle streetcar lines. Across the nation, tracks were torn up, sometimes overnight, and diesel buses placed on city streets. The highway lobby then pushed through Congress a vast network of urban freeways that doubled the cost of the Interstates, fueled suburban development, increased auto dependence, and elicited passionate opposition. 

      There are powerful interests that probably realize all the problems with our addiction to oil but have great economic incentives to preserve the status quo and have demonstrated in the past the lengths they will go to in order to do that. 


      For any who think we can continue to fuel our transportation and electric power with oil, gas, coal and nuclear in a business as usual manner, you should look around, this has been the year of game changers.  Fukushima was a game changer for the nuclear industry.  Revolutions in Egypt , Tunisia , Yemen , Bahrain , and perhaps Saudi are game changers for the oil and gas industry.  The price of oil will continue to rise, especially if democracy takes hold in the region. 

      For any who are afraid to change, change is happening regardless of your fear.  Business as usual no longer exists in energy.  We have had 40 years to change, but have only marginally adapted.  We will be forced in ways that are increasingly painful.  Our smartest way forward is to plan and implement strategies to transition to an ever increasing mix of renewables as quickly as possible.  We need to do what we do best: innovate and implement.


      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
      Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 8:12 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [hreg] PLEASE CALL: Major Solar Legislation in Texas House



      The ICTA 98 study does a good job of trying to comprehensively address tax subsidies for oil as well as externalities not included in the price at the pump. 

      I would love to see the numbers added up of the total payout for tax subsides to oil, gas, coal made over the last 100 years.  My guess is that if we had that money in the treasury, we could more than wipe out the US national debt.

      Most who are strongly in favor of subsidies for oil, gas, coal are oddly also strong free market proponents.  How free are markets propped up by 100 Years of subsidy?  Many protest against incentives for renewables with the famous argument “we don’t want to pick technology winners; we want to let the market choose.”  I wonder what choices markets might have made had the US not subsidized oil, gas and coal for 100 Years?  I wonder what other energy and transportation inventions may have come to market had we not subsidized such a “free market.”

      John Hofmeister, former President of Shell Oil Company is quick to point out that there is no free market for oil and gas.  Oil holds a monopoly on transportation he says and its price is set by a cartel, OPEC. 

      The oil and gas extraction and delivery system is enormous and complex.  You or I cannot buy drilling equipment, go to our back yard, pump enough oil to last us a year or two.   (We can install solar panels on our roof tops, though.) The only oil remaining in the earth today requires risky and enormously costly technology plays.  Only giant corporations have access to huge capital and can take the risks; but they do so by pushing off the costs of disasters, which will grow in frequency and devastation, onto the public and the environment.

      The goal and purpose behind incentives for renewable energy are to assist newer and more expensive technologies to gain market entry. The need exists because oil, gas and coal have a 100 year market lead, entrenched infrastructure AND are deeply subsidized.  Incentives for renewables provide leverage for R&D and manufacturing until economies of scale drive prices down, as happened with the computer industry.  Think back to the price of the computer you bought in the mid 90s and compare it with the price and capability of your computer now.  Most renewable policies are designed with finite time lines and declining price structures.  In the US – incentives generally extend for 2 or 3 years – in Europe , renewable incentives may span 10 years.  These are short, finite, targeted goals.

      But to have an energy system that is propped up for 100 Years by subsidies, that pollutes air, water, oceans, causes climate change, requires we go to war to kill to secure it, has price volatility that damages massive economies, kills those who try to extract it – where is the reason and common sense in that? 

      Why would we not implement smart incentives to move to renewables?  When someone argues strongly for energy status quo – and are comfortable with the death and destruction we’ve seen this past year at BP Horizon’s Macondo, or Fukushima Daichi, or countless coal catastrophes – and argue against incentives for renewables – I always wonder why they are so afraid of change…


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      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of chasmauch@...
      Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 4:48 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [hreg] PLEASE CALL: Major Solar Legislation in Texas House


       The old argument has always been that renewables must be subsidized whereas oil stands on its own - but of course that is nowhere near a true picture of the real economics and confuses and misleads many people.

      There have been many studies of this but one of the best was done by The International Center for Technology Assessment back in 1998 when gasoline just cost about $1 at the pump and it was shown that when all the subsidies and externalities were included the true cost was somewhere between $5.60 and $15.14 per gallon, depending on using the worst or best scenarios.

      It has not been updated to my knowledge but the relative numbers are probably still within ballpark accuracy and reflect the true costs of our addiction to oil. The entire report is very detailed (about 39 pages long) but the executive summary (3 pages) gives a good overview. It's pretty apparent that we could afford a lot of subsidies for renewables and still come out way ahead.

      In a message dated 4/5/2011 4:19:26 P.M. Central Daylight Time, junk1@... writes:


      Where did you read that I don’t object to subsidies for oil, gas and coal?  I reread my 2 brief sentences but couldn’t find the alleged objection.

      That said, while I object to subsidies in general, if you must have one, let it apply to everyone more or less equally (proportionate to use).  A lot higher proportion of the population uses gas/oil/coal/nuclear, so a subsidy there would benefit most, whereas a PV benefit at a time when affordability (even after large subsidies/tax credits) is still beyond the reach of most people means that you are subsidizing the relatively wealthy.

      What mechanism would you propose to make this fair, both in terms of the “tax” imposed and the distribution of the proceeds?


      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Tyra Rankin
      Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 3:31 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [hreg] PLEASE CALL: Major Solar Legislation in Texas House


      So you object to subsidies for residential solar, but you don’t object to the 100 Years of subsidies we pay for oil, gas and coal… or the subsidies we pay for nuclear…


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      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of Robert Johnston
      Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 3:21 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [hreg] PLEASE CALL: Major Solar Legislation in Texas House

      I don’t understand why I should be required to pay yet another subsidy to the rich guy who can afford to put PV on their home.  At the end of the day, PV needs to be viable on its own and get off all these subsidies.


      From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto: hreg@yahoogroups.com ] On Behalf Of ralph parrott
      Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:55 PM
      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [hreg] PLEASE CALL: Major Solar Legislation in Texas House

      On Wednesday, the House State Affairs committee will hear HB 2961 by Rep. Drew Darby (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=82R&Bill=HB2961). The bill would invest $1.2 billion in solar incentives over five years. Similar legislation passed the Texas Senate in 2009, only to fall victim in the House to the legislative logjam created at the end of the session by the voter ID debate. Houston-area Representatives Patricia Harless, Dan Huberty, and Sylvester Turner are on the committee and need to hear from you. Please call now!

      Rep. Sylvester Turner (512) 463-0554

      Rep. Patricia Harless (512) 463-0496/ span>

      Rep. Dan Huberty (512) 463-0520

      Tens of thousands of Texans would install solar panels if they could afford the upfront investment. Retailers like HEB and Wal-Mart and hundreds of others would put solar panels on their businesses. And electric generating companies would build solar farms producing as much electricity as a big coal-fired power plant.

      How do we unleash this investment in our economy? Simple. Bring down the upfront cost. Under HB 2961, residential customers pay $1 a month on their
      electric bills (and businesses between $5-50/month), which would generate a solar fund of $1.2 billion over 5 years (providing rebate of $2/watt). Polls show almost 70% of Texans are willing to pay this surcharge (http://solarfortexas.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/SA_press_release_03-14.pdf).

      Solar panels go up on 50,000 homes, 1000 businesses and in large solar farms (altogether installing 1000 megawatts of electric capacity - enough to power
      200,000 homes). The solar industry estimates a program of this scale would put 35,000 people to work building, shipping and installing solar panels.

      Solar panels are fragile and best built close to market, so entrepreneurs start or relocate solar companies to Texas . Our colleges and universities become incubators of clean energy innovation, with graduates eager to join our booming clean energy industry. All these businesses and workers and researchers attract up to $6 billion in private investment. Meanwhile, we can stop importing so much coal from Wyoming , keeping billions more dollars in the Texas economy.

      The program would reduce air pollution in Texas and can help brin g down the cost of solar to parity with fossil fuels. The New York Times reported the price of solar panels has already declined 40% in the last several years (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/business/energy-environment/27solar.html). Finally, HB 2961 could help position Texas to take our rightful place as the national leader in solar production. After all, we have some of the best solar radiation in the country. We are home to one of the world's largest suppliers of solar-grade silicon (the chemical used to make solar panels) in Pasadena , Texas (MEMC). And we are world-renowned for
      our expertise in energy and high-tech.

      Please call in support of HB 2961 and for a sunny energy future for Texas .

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