Welcome to Open Energy!
- Written by Njema Frazier
“We can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future – an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy.” - President Barack Obama, March 15, 2012
I’d like to begin by thanking Open Government Television for welcoming me to the team!
This blog will be dedicated to current energy issues, information, policies, and initiatives, and I’m excited to engage in discussions that cover the waterfront on today’s energy topics.
So why energy? Because it’s interesting? Maybe. Because it’s important? Sure. How about, because it’s rapidly becoming one of the issues that we as Americans, consumers, and humans can’t afford NOT to know about. Don’t believe me? Check your winter heating bill. Or gas prices. Or real estate purchases. Automotive sales. Environmental standards. The stock market. GDP. Sites of global and regional conflict. And I could go on.
Energy has long been its own industry, but now it is fast becoming a predominating economic driver – and indicator. From oil and gas, to renewables and clean energy; we’re investing in it, we’re buying and selling it, we’re competing for it, and we’re seeking out new forms of it. Why? Because we’re becoming more dependent on energy for our economic vitality.
If it wasn’t clear before, the growing effect that energy is having on our economy makes it clear that we need to have a dialogue about energy – an Open dialogue!
Let me introduce myself. I am a nuclear physicist by training, a former Hill staffer, a federal manager, and an avid consumer of policy information that affects our communities – including, it turns out, energy information. I am a proponent of facts, of thought, of making connections, of education, and of social justice. I am left of center, and right of progressive. I do NOT believe we can drill our way to energy independence. I do not believe we SHOULD gain energy independence through questionable energy sources and practices, for example, fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing). Without delving into an extended discussion of ethics, economic warfare, and regulatory authority, let me just note that while studies exist that provide evidence for and against the use of some energy sources, these studies are still under discussion, and the local health effects on residents and wildlife are heavily debated. Therefore, we should not, as a country, indulge in our thirst for a “quick fix” or place these options at the center of our energy strategy. Rather we should keep all clean energy options on the table, pursue them in a science-based, measured, and risk-adverse manner, and use them responsibly to provide 21st Century energy independence.
So that’s me. And that’s why, at least in part, I believe it is critical to include Open Energy in the discussion.
I look forward to blogging and responding to your comments, and while the topics may range from educational, to informational, to purely “my take” on an issue, it will always be an Open, two-way street and a springboard for discussion and discovery.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Department of Energy or any other entity of the U.S. Government.