Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Re-framing the Debate: National Security and Renewable Energy

RenewableEnergyAccess.com has this report on last week's conference of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) in Washington, D.C.:
If one actionable priority could be distilled from the chorus of support expressed for renewables at last week's conference of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), it's that the time has come to shift the nation's priorities from an era of research and development to one of major deployment. And the one mantra rising above the conference chatter that might create enough political muscle to kick-off that shift can be summed up in two words: National Security.
Emphasizing the link between renewable energy and national security is not a new idea, as the report points out President Nixon made the connection in 1971 in one of the first comprehensive national speeches on the topic. What's been missing, however, is an mature industry capable of making the national security "frame" stick - an industry that can deliver enough measurable results to make the alternative plausible. We're quickly approaching that threshold, and as more RE projects come on-line, and more ideas move from design, to development, to deployment, its important to translate these achievements into a message that resonates. There's no need to down play the environmental benefits of RE, but given the political climate, emphasizing a national security theme makes sense.

(Thanks to sustainablog for bringing the report to our attention).