Wrestling the energy boogieman has become a perennial rite of passage for U.S. presidents, dating at least as far back as Nixon.
Fittingly, President Obama today was at Georgetown University, where he outlined a broad initiative to cut oil imports, boost domestic production of oil and gas, and increase the use of cellulosic ethanol and natural gas to power vehicles.
With gas prices topping $4 a gallon in some parts of the country, like southern California, and the summer driving season not that far off, the president's comments couldn't come a moment too soon.
"In an economy that relies so heavily on oil, rising prices at the pump affect everybody," the Obama said in what the White House billed as a significant energy address.
With the on-going calamity in Japan and phrases like "nuclear meltdown" and "radiation sickness" in headlines, it's to be expected that people discuss with renewed attention the risks and benefits of nuclear energy. At very least, it's helpful to stop and take a moment to think about where our electricity comes from.
Here in the U.S., we get about one-fifth of our electricity from nuclear power. Coal is still king, representing nearly half of total electricity generation, nationwide. Natural gas is number two, used to meet about a quarter of our demand.
Solar panels can do a lot of things. They can significantly reduce -- and in some cases eliminate -- your monthly electricity bill, saving hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. They can add real value to your home. They can reduce your reliance on dirty sources of energy, like coal. They can even make your home look pretty.
The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) yesterday voted to approve a new roadmap for reducing instate gas sales. The news comes a month after regulators approved a new energy efficiency standard for utilities.