Aug 22, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Another great addition to your bookshelf: this one by a personal hero of mine for years: S. David Freeman, the maverick who has been at the center of many of the great energy stories of the past four decades. (You may remember him from "Who Killed the Electric Car," in front of the Pacific Ocean under a cowboy hat.) Freeman is one of those "larger than life" figures whose impact increases the older he gets. (Others include Arthur Rosenfeld (inventor of the compact fluorescent bulb, still on the California Energy Commissioner, and Stanley Ovshinsky, inventor of the technology behind nickel-metal hydride batteries and other innovations, and a little younger but in the same category, Prof. Andy Frank of PHEV fame.)
Freeman says to save our planet we need to stop building new coal or nuclear plants and phase out the ones in operation. He gives a roadmap for replacing them with renewable energy sources. He's a strong supporter of plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. We figure at least 10% of the content of the book is about plug-in cars -- including two photos of our car. We don't agree 100% with him on everything, but we see this as a book that can reach many new audiences with specific information and an inspiring vision.
"Winning Our Energy Independence: An Energy Insider Shows How" is from publisher Gibbs Smith. The book's back cover has endorsements ranging from environmentalist Robert Redford to oil entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens. You can get all the details or pre-order now, using our handy page http://www.calcars.org/books.html (which lists four great new books all being published Oct 1).
Below you'll find:
- Press release from Ballantines PR, the people to contact for speaking engagements at http://www.ballantinespr.com
- Additional biographical information
- Sample letter to your Senator or Representative
- Some of our favorite paragraphs from many chapters
The 'Green Cowboy' S. David Freeman on Winning Our Energy Independence by Using Renewable Resources
At last, a voice that cuts through the propaganda and puts all the pieces of our nation's energy puzzle together in plain English while providing practical, common-sense answers.
S. David Freeman, the energy guru known as the "Green Cowboy," has written the first must-read book that tells the American people the truth about this country's dependence on foreign oil, dirty coal and dangerous nuclear power -- what he calls the "Three Poisons."
His new book, "Winning Our Energy Independence: An Energy Insider Shows How," delivers a wealth of facts and candid opinions on renewable resources with blunt straight talk. His message: We have all the renewable energy we need to wean ourselves from the Three Poisons and create a sustainable future for our planet.
Solar, wind and biomass energy, harnessed on a mass scale using existing technologies, can easily meet the nation's electrical needs, Freeman says. These are renewable energy resources. He calls for a concerted 30-year effort to close aging coal-fired and nuclear power plants and replace today's cars with plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Freeman charges that the reason we aren't already using more renewable energy is that oil companies and electrical utilities have waged a slick campaign to deceive Americans:
"The folks who sell oil, coal, and nuclear reactors spend tremendous amounts of money convincing the American people that what they sell is economical, safe, and clean. They contribute huge sums of money to the politicians who repeat their propaganda. How often have you heard phrases such as 'clean coal,' 'safe nuclear power,' 'clean diesel,' or 'low-level radioactive waste'?
"These phrases are images invented by highly paid, highly skilled advertising firms. But these claims are lies. There are even ads on TV and in the newspapers featuring pristine landscapes and young, freshly scrubbed spokespeople advertising coal as a clean energy resource. This is ridiculous. Coal is inherently filthier than dirt itself. The current energy industry has quite masterfully succeeded in lulling many Americans to sleep on the dangers of the poisons they sell while portraying renewables as a distant dream."
Freeman speaks from half a century of experience working in the energy industry and as a federal energy policymaker. Trained as both an engineer and a lawyer, he joined the Federal Power Commission during the Kennedy Administration and helped develop energy policy for Presidents Johnson and Nixon (he even had a hand in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency).
President Carter appointed him to chair the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority and he would later head other major electrical utilities, such as the Lower Colorado River Authority, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the New York Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Freeman has received awards from organizations such as the Los Angeles Coalition for Clean Air, Global Green, and the National Wildlife Association for his commitment to renewable energy, clean air and clean water. Today, Freeman serves as the president of the commission overseeing the Port of Los Angeles.
David Freeman's new book, "Winning Our Energy Independence: An Energy Insider Shows How" will be available to the public after October 1. David Freeman is an enthralling speaker. He is available now for speaking engagements and interviews to discuss winning our energy independence by relying on renewable energy resources.
Winning Our Energy Independence shares energy solutions from S. David Freeman, a man who has spent his life at the forefront of energy policy. Freeman explains how the sun, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydrogen resources we have right now can be the fuels that solve energy issues and create a sustainable future for our planet. These alternative energies will heat and cool our homes, run our cars, power our factories, and do all the things that our civilization requires—but only if we make it happen! We have the renewable resources we need—now we simply need the awareness, passion, and drive from the people to make sure our politicians and business leaders respond. Winning Our Energy Independence provides action plans for showing us how to influence change.
MORE ABOUT S.DAVID FREEMAN
- In January 2001, in response to the California energy crisis, Freeman was appointed by Governor Gray Davis to serve as the Chairman of the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority and as Governor Davis’ senior energy advisor.
- Freeman was nominated by Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan to serve as General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, a position he held from 1997 to 2001. Under Mr. Freeman’s leadership, Los Angeles avoided the blackouts that gripped the rest of California during this period.
- Freeman has held chief executive positions at the largest power authorities in the world, including the New York Power Authority, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Lower Colorado River Authority, and the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD).
- An engineer and lawyer, Freeman served as energy advisor to President Jimmy Carter and energy consultant to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee.
- Freeman was the first person in the U.S. government with responsibility for energy policy under President Johnson in 1967. He drafted the first energy message that a president sent to Congress, delivered by President Nixon in 1971.
- He helped create the Environmental Protection Agency, and worked on the initial clean air and clean water laws.
- He led the successful effort to enact better mileage standards for motor vehicles in 1975.
S. David Freeman is currently the general manager of the Port of Los Angeles. He served as the Chairman of the Board of the California Consumer Power and Conservation Financing Authority. In his distinguished forty-year career, Mr. Freeman has been “present at the creation,” shaping our public awareness, helping design governmental institutions, and writing the laws that define the framework for U.S. environmental and energy policy. Freeman also authored Energy: The New Era. He lives in California.
APPENDIX: LETTER TO SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE
Dear ______________________________, I am writing to urge you to take decisive action that will enable America to regain its independence from the oil-producing nations, prevent global warming, and reduce the dangers of nuclear bombs falling into the hands of terrorists. These dangers are the war we must win and, to do so, I urge you to reject the false propaganda of the energy lobby and take decisive action. The essential actions the Congress must take are the following:
- Outlaw any new coal or nuclear electric power plants.
- Enact a $5,000 tax credit to each consumer who purchases a plug-in hybrid, and a $1 billion tax credit to the first company that
- sells 200,000 plug-in hybrids.
- Require all electric power companies to achieve 30 percent renewable energy by 2020.
- Increase the standards for fuel efficiency in motor vehicles by one mile per gallon (mpg) each year for the next twenty-four years to double today's mpg standard.
- Authorize a ten-year program with funding to build hydrogen service stations throughout the nation to service hydrogen-fueled
- motor vehicles. As your constituent and a citizen of this country, I urge you to take action on these important items.
CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER SELECTIONS FROM THE BOOK
This book will demonstrate that it is entirely practical and feasible to get all our energy from renewable resources and to do so with today's technology. We don't need to wait for decades in order to get started. The day that the United States commits itself to a sustainable march to an all-renewable energy economy is the day the world changes. It will change in these dramatic ways:
1. THE HEART OF THE STORY (AMERICA CAN BECOME ENERGY INDEPENDENT)
Most of our coal and nuclear plants are old. The law should require that a gradual retirement of coal and nuclear be completed in thirty years. We would, of course, do it on a timetable providing a five-year period to build efficiency improvements and renewable resources as a replacement
2. RAISING THE BAR (A STRONGER EFFORT IS NEEDED)
The major point here is that phasing out coal and nuclear is doable and practical. These fuels are used almost exclusively to make electricity, and the utilities are largely regulated. This basic approach would outlaw any new coal and nuclear production plants and set forth a timetable to go steadily from the 9 percent renewables1 used today to 60 percent by 2037, with the rest of the portfolio supplied by natural gas.
3. THE THREE POISONS (THE DANGERS OF OIL, COAL AND NUCLEAR)
I have been an active participant in the electric power industry over the last forty years. I've been a regulator, a policymaker, and the CEO of a number of large public power systems. I know of no failure as clear and dramatic as the failure of nuclear power on both public safety and economics.
The phrase "clean coal" is an insult to human intelligence. There is no such thing. Coal is inherently dirty and is an unhealthy source of energy throughout every stage of its mining and use. I say this based on my experience as the former head of the TVA, which bought and burned more than 30 million tons of coal a year. I was deeply involved in the strip mining, underground mining, trucking, and most importantly, the burning of huge quantities of coal. No one who has been deeply involved with coal can rightfully say it is clean.
4. WE LIVE IN A SOLAR WORLD (RENEWABLES ARE THE GREATEST SOURCES OF ENERGY)
Quite frankly, our environmental leaders have inadvertently helped mislead Americans by conceding that renewables are more expensive and lobbying for goals that make renewables only a small part of our supply. For example, those of us who advocated to raise our renewable electricity mix to 20 percent of our electricity in the case of California, have set the bar too low. I do not mean to criticize those who have helped move the renewable energy bar from zero to 20 percent. These have been important strides that laid the foundation for raising the bar much higher. But the effect of our struggle to gain a foothold for both efficiency and renewables has also helped the energy industry spread the lies that renewable energy can only be a minor source of power.
The problem is that some environmental leaders have become part of the status quo. They seem afraid to advocate bold programs that are needed. They are afraid of failing. Their attitude and activism reflects their fears. When David Yarnold, Environmental Defense's executive vice president, was asked in May 2006 why his group wasn't offering solutions more dramatic than what Congress was considering, he replied, "Why would you want to lobby for something that can't get done?"1 If a Congress that consistently supports the coal, oil, and nuclear industries sets the bar for what environmentalists propose, we are indeed in a heap of trouble. Environmentalists need to stand up and propose solutions to our problems and help the true interests of the American people get heard. Now is the time to take a stand and put into action the programs that will get the job done--the job of making renewables the primary source for all America's energy.
The driving force will be actions taken by readers of this book and concerned citizens generally, who will demand plug-in hybrid cars, purchase only Energy Star appliances, demand green power from their utility companies, install solar panels on their roof, and lobby senators and representatives to enact the policies set forth in chapter 12.
5. THE MAJOR USES OF ENERGY (HOW EFFICIENT USE OF RENEWABLES AND NATURAL GAS CAN SUPPLY THEM ALL)
It is urgent that we persuade auto companies to mass-produce plug-in hybrids in all of their models. We need to apply the purchasing power, political will, and common sense of the American people to make it happen promptly. That's what is required if we are to take our energy woes seriously enough to overcome them before they overcome us.
The auto industry sells millions of cars each year on the merits of everything but price. But when it comes to fuel economy--the one thing that would save consumers money--the industry claims it costs too much.
6. DOES RENEWABLE ENERGY REALLY COST MORE? (THE ANSWER IS NO!)
7. ENERGY EFFICIENCY (THE CHEAPEST AND CLEANEST ENERGY)
8. THE TECHNOLOGY IS AVAILABLE (NO NEED TO WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW)
I hope the development of plug-in flex-fuel hybrids is a priority item for the auto industry. This presents a huge opportunity, much more valuable than marketing gimmicks of one hundred dollars in "free" gas or guaranteed one year of gasoline for $1.99 per gallon that some automakers were pushing. The best sources of information are not the auto companies, but rather concerned citizens who have formed Plug-In America and the experts at the South Coast Air Quality Management District who have actually added a plug-in feature to the Prius and have shown that in ordinary driving they do, in fact, get eighty miles to the gallon. These folks have taken the initiative to revolutionize the automobile. They have developed, and are promoting, plug-in hybrid vehicles far ahead of the multibillion dollar auto industry.
Perhaps the best answer is that "the 'perfect' is the enemy of the good." Today the plug-in hybrid isn't perfect, but it's as good an answer as we have for an early start on ending oil addiction, global warming, and urban air pollution.
With all these advantages, why aren't plug-ins being offered for sale by automakers? That's a good question. It's taking a long time for the SUVloving auto industry to wake up to reality. But let's be clear, the problems aren't technical even though there is some engineering yet to be done.
9..HYDROGEN -- MYTHS AND REALITY (MAKING IT WORK WITH RENEWABLE ENERGY)
10. LESSONS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE (OTHER NATIONS ARE SHOWING THE WAY)
11. AN ALL-RENEWABLE LOS ANGELES (A MODEL FOR THE WORLD)
The marketing of electricity for plug-in hybrids presents a marvelous opportunity for the L.A.-owned utility to significantly enlarge its business over time.
The interesting fact is that this "new business" for the LADWP could result in lower prices than would otherwise be the case, both for regular users of electricity and for motorists currently stuck with high-priced gasoline. That is true because the utility investment in electric power would be used more of the time (about 70 percent rather than 40 percent), so the cost per unit of capacity will be lower than it would be without the new business. And the fuel costs for wind and solar are zero.
12. A NATIONAL RENEEWABLE ENERGY POLICY (WHAT CONGRESS NEEDS TO DO)
A comprehensive policy must include the following:
- A movement of our electric power production steadily toward more and more renewable sources
- A 20 percent federal tax credit to electricity and natural gas utilities that gives highest priority to the efficient use of the energy they supply
- A ban on new coal-fired or nuclear power plants
- Retirement of existing coal-fired and nuclear plants within the next thirty years
- A government-funded program to demonstrate Big Solar and convert it to hydrogen in demonstration projects of 500 MW or larger
- Federal fuel economy standards that move from 24 to 48 miles per gallon over the next twenty-four years, one mpg per year
- Large enough tax credits for both purchasers and manufacturers of plug-in hybrid and flex-fuel automobiles to assure that they become the standard fixture of all motor vehicles within ten years
- Extra tax incentives if the car is all-electric or zero-oil
- An excess-profits tax on oil sufficient to fund the tax credits
- A tax on natural gas used for boiler fuel in excess of 20 percent of the capacity of any power plant unit
- A policy nationwide to remove obstacles and to encourage decentralized electric power production
13. THE NEXT TEN YEARS (THE TIME FOR TRANSITION)
As I see it, we have, at most, a three-year window for plug-in hybrids and flex-fuel cars (cars that can run on either biofuel or gasoline, or a blend of both) to start being offered for sale and sold in large numbers. Otherwise, the overall world growth in oil consumption will present the U.S. and the world with fearsome pollution and foreign policy problems far greater than those we are currently experiencing.
14. 2017 AND BEYOND (A CLEAN-ENERGY ECONOMY)
15. A BROADER PERSPECTIVE (THE JOY OF MAKING THINGS LAST)