Create 14,000 new jobs by embracing new types of energy
Risch said we’re running out of oil and we need to develop alternative energy sources, but meanwhile we need to use compressed natural gas, nuclear energy, wind power, and “drilling our way through this.”
LaRocco responded, “We could create
14,000 new jobs in Idaho just by embracing new types of energy.”
Rammell added, “I’m so sick & tired of global warming. If we continue to support this lie that global warming is going to destroy this world, we’re going to destroy our economy.”
Source: 2008 Idaho Senate Debate reported in Boise Weekly City Desk
, Oct 9, 2008
Q: What policies would you support to meet the demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?
A: A sound plan must begin by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Good alternatives to oil include
ethanol produced from animal waste; nuclear energy; and solar, wind and geothermal energy. Some of these technologies are already economically feasible, while others still need to be developed.
I support tax incentives to encourage efficiency and the use of alternative energy. The government should help fund the research and development of alternative energy technology. Achieving energy independence will create thousands of new jobs while
stabilizing our economy, reducing the threat of global warming and increasing our national security. A smart energy policy will bring substantial economic benefits. The research and implementation of alternative energy technologies will inject money
and jobs into the economy. A sound plan must begin by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Good alternatives to oil include ethanol produced from animal waste, nuclear, wind, and geothermal. Some of these technologies are already economically
feasible, while others still need to be developed. It is critical that the US continue to develop these technologies to make them economically viable. Idaho is in a great position to capitalize on research & production of energy from alternative sources.
Geothermal energy provides low-cost heat in buildings
Geothermal energy is a renewable resource in Idaho with great potential. Hot water found deep beneath the Earth’s surface can be used to heat buildings or produce electricity. In fact, geothermal energy already provides low-cost heat in many public and
private buildings in Idaho. It is estimated that geothermal energy could produce around 5 million megawatt hours per year in Idaho. Idaho Power recently named US Geothermal, an Idaho company, as the winner of their request for bids to provide geothermal
energy from a plant near Raft River. The two companies currently are negotiating a 25-year power purchase agreement for more than 45 megawatts of power per year, enough to light more than 30,000 homes.
The construction and maintenance of plants used to produce energy from these sources will inject money and jobs in Idaho’s economy while decreasing our nation’s dependence on oil.
Nuclear power plays a key role in energy independence
The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is an ideal candidate for investments in alternative energy. It is a research leader in basic nuclear and radiological science, fossil energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Nuclear power plays a key role in
energy independence because it has an excellent operating record and generates electricity in a reliable, environmentally safe and affordable manner without emitting greenhouse gases. The INL is on the cutting edge of research to develop the next
generation of nuclear power. The Generation IV Nuclear Reactor Project focuses on developing six different systems to produce nuclear energy, which will offer significant advances in sustainability, safety, reliability, economy, proliferation resistance,
& physical protection. The INL supports Nuclear Power 2010, a joint government/industry cost-shared program to demonstrate new regulatory processes and provide designs that will lead to the construction of new nuclear power plants in the US by 2010.
The green economy is developing with new markets, exciting jobs and clean technologies that are cost effective on large and small scale projects. Neighboring Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada has a large solar facility powering about 30% of
Nellis’s demand (power for more than 12, 000 military and civilians) and reducing annual energy costs to the Air Force base by an estimated $1M each year . Solar produced electricity is estimated in some cases to be as low as $.02/kWh --feasible given th
Idaho state average of approximately $.05/kWh . Implementing solar technology will create new businesses and jobs for Idaho. Installation and maintenance jobs--nearly 50% of the total cost--cannot be shipped to China or India.
Solar technology is unique in the potential to empower each individual to take action. Whether you’re a home owner in Twin Falls or a small business owner in Pocatello, solar is an economical and green solution to meeting energy demand.
Diversifying our energy portfolio strengthens the economy
America relies heavily on foreign oil--currently more than 50% of US petroleum is imported. Because oil is imperative for transportation and manufacturing, the economy is extremely vulnerable to supply disruptions and price shocks. Under our current
energy policy, tension with Iran can cause dramatic changes in oil prices that hinder our economic growth. Diversifying our energy portfolio would eliminate the systematic risk that arises from relying on the Middle East for oil.
Use manure and agricultural plant material to make ethanol
One technology currently on the cusp of becoming cost-effective is ethanol produced from low-cost biomass, or manure and agricultural plant material that would otherwise go to waste. The Energy Information
Administration predicts that the ability to produce ethanol from low-cost biomass--as opposed to corn--will be the key to making ethanol competitive. The Department of Energy will invest up to $385 million in six bio-refinery projects.
Idaho could produce approximately 49 million megawatt hours per year. This could account for more than one-third of Idaho’s energy consumption. Like ethanol, wind technology is close to being cost-effective. According to the Renewable Northwest
Project, the cost of producing wind energy in the Northwest is between 4 cents and 7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). This is near the average market price of 3.31 cents/kWh to 5.67 cents/kWh paid by different types of users in Idaho in December 2006.
A direct energy investment of $300 billion over 10 years
The transition to energy independence will not be easy, but a recent study demonstrates the significant economic and social benefits to the whole economy of altering our current energy policy. The proposal uses both a direct investment of $300 billion
over 10 years of public funds and tax incentives to diversify the country’s energy sources, invest in more efficient factories, promote construction of energy efficient buildings and reinvest in smart urban growth with improved transportation options.
The study finds that implementing this plan will add more than 3.3 million high-skilled and high wage jobs to the economy, stimulate $1.4 trillion GDP growth over 10 years and produce $284 billion in net energy cost savings. The investment is cost
neutral over 10 years because the $300 billion federal investment will be offset by $306.8 billion in increased federal tax revenue from increased income. Relative to the baseline, the project could be revenue positive over a longer window.
We owe it to our children to curb greenhouse gas emissions
America must change its energy habits. We owe it to our children & grandchildren to curb greenhouse gas emissions and decrease our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Idaho is in a great position to capitalize on research and production of energy
from alternative sources. A smart energy policy for the future will improve national security and bring substantial economic benefits now. The research and implementation of alternative energy technologies will inject money and jobs into the economy.