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After the Oil Crunch

Question: What’s your prognosis for our current energy woes?

Transcript: Oil is gonna be a part of our future for a long time and it should be. And we should continue to explore new sources of oil, of natural gas, of coal, finding cleaner ways of harvesting that coal and then consuming that coal using it, turning into electricity. But we cannot repeat the mistakes of the 1970s. And what I mean by that is when the oil crisis was over in the early 1980s, we turned away from alternative sources. We’re right back where we were at the end of the 1970s. We are right as dependent on oil now as we were then and we turned our gaze away. There are tremendous things that we didn’t even fathom in the 1970s and now we’re talking about. I was in a little town of Lyons, Nebraska. I mean, it’s, there’s a guy out there originally from New Jersey picked up after the first Gulf War, took his family out to Lyons, Nebraska. He is completely transforming not just the energy consumption in Lyons but also the economy of Lyons ‘cause he has taken it completely off the grid. He’s doing things that we hadn’t thought of before and this is one small little entrepreneur on the middle of, you know, a town of about a thousand people in Central Nebraska. It’s remarkable. Sequestering methane from feedlots or from biosludge, I mean, all the industry and the waste that we’ve dumped in landfills or anything else, and we’re actually finding ways of using it and turning that into energy. Nebraska has the 6th greatest potential for wind power in the entire country. We have enough to generate 30,000 jobs and two and a half times our electrical needs in Nebraska so we could export that. That becomes a second source of revenue for us. We’ve got the 9th greatest potential for solar power. And where this comes in is not just in the solar disks and the solar panels but it also comes in, in just nature, right? I mean, algae, he is crushing algae which has a 300 times greater potential for biodiesel production than the soybeans. He’s growing, harvesting and crushing algae to produce fuel for the town of Lyons and neighboring towns, and businesses had begun to creep up around his reinvention of the economy in Lyons. So, it’s tremendous that we should not do what we did in the ‘70s and turn away from these potentials. So that we should again… so we don’t again face this point where we are depended on one source of energy in the next 30 years.

Recorded on: 8/13/08

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