Next president must deal with energy crisis |

Next president must deal with energy crisis

Ben WalshEnvironment ColoradoDenver

The 44th president of the United States will enter office on Jan. 20, 2009, facing an unprecedented energy crisis. Our nation’s dependence on dirty energy sources like coal and oil has threatened our environment, our economy, and our national security. On Jan. 2, the cost of a barrel of oil rose to $100 for the first time in history, demonstrating the grim reality that with energy prices rising and fossil fuel resources waning, America can no longer maintain the status quo. The good news is that not only do Americans and Coloradans overwhelmingly support clean energy solutions, but we also have the technology and the resources to meet all our energy needs with clean, renewable sources. Eighty-seven percent of Americans support developing renewable energy resources. In 2004 Colorado became the first state to pass a renewable energy standard by popular vote.America can cut electricity use by 20 percent using cost-effective energy efficiency improvements; automobiles can be engineered to go 40 miles per gallon even without the widespread use of hybrid technologies, and wind power could generate more than twice the country’s current electricity demands. Right here on Colorado’s western slopes, entrepreneurial solar companies are already creating new jobs. The time is now to demand the presidential candidates to make strong commitments to the clean renewable energy that is so abundant in our state.