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  1. Check out Joseph Romm notes that the electricity industry is structured to oppose conservation. He believes we waste 40% of our electricity. (That’s consistent with my hypothesis that 50% of our total energy is wasted.) We waste roughly the same amount of electricity as coal produces. That means conservation alone could virtually eliminate the need for coal.

    Imagine solar panels on every rooftop in the West, wind turbines in every inhabited valley and coastal community, geothermal wherever it makes sense, and wave and tidal wherever it works. Now imagine only having to meet 50-60% of the current load. It’s not as far a reach as you might think.

    But for that to happen, we need at least one of two things to happen: massive government intervention and/or appropriate energy pricing, including an environmental risk disincentive. That would price coal out of the market. The price of nuclear would also go up– but absent massive government subsidies, new nuke plants already ARE priced out of the market.

    Of course, the American people will squeal when asked to pay 2-3 times what they now pay for electricity. Tough. Our “right” to burn as much cheap energy as we can afford is killing us.

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