Securing Our Future Programs on Energy Independence
The Securing Our Future Series of television programs, conferences and publications presents information on domestic energy resources which, when developed as part of a comprehensive national energy policy, will reduce America’s dependence on imported oil.
Through mid-2009, the series included made-for-television programs on hydrogen fuel cell technology, “home-grown” biofuels and nuclear energy; a published report on nuclear energy; and a national conference on nuclear energy. Future programs may examine the roles of coal, wind and solar energy and conservation in securing America’s energy independence.
All Securing Our Future Series programs recognize the unique relationship between human health, environmental quality, Environmental Justice and economic development in assuring a better quality of life in cities and towns across the nation. A comprehensive national energy policy will promote a diverse portfolio of domestic energy resources, enabling the United States to reduce its dependence on foreign oil, while improving quality of life across the nation.
Prompted by national security, economic and environmental concerns, former United States President George W. Bush devoted a portion of his 2006 State of the Union Address to our nation’s need to develop domestic energy resources. At that time, President Bush described America as “addicted to oil,” and pledged to replace 75% of America’s oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.
President Bush was not alone (or first) in calling for America to reduce its increasing (60%) dependence on imported oil. Elected officials from both sides of the political aisle joined in the call for energy independence. In a July 2008, U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn summarized his position as follows: “America's energy policy can either be reactive and arcane, or it can be proactive and visionary. I support the latter, and am an unabashed advocate for policies that will end our dependence on foreign oil, enhance our national security, protect our environment and create new economies.”
During the 2008 Presidential nomination and election campaigns, candidates from both major political parties devoted significant time to energy issues. Public demand for political action reached a crescendo in mid-2008, when crude oil prices peaked at $147/barrrel and gasoline routinely cost more than $4/gallon nationwide. Though oil and gasoline demand and prices subsequently sank in concert with a slowing global economy, few analysts believe that $40/barrel oil and $1.60/gallon gasoline are here to stay. Indeed, by mid-June 2009, the price of crude oil once again exceeded $70/barrel - more that 50% above its lows just months earlier. Gasoline prices also increased more than 50% in a six-month period.
On February 24, 2009, President Barack Obama said: “We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before." President Obama repeated his campaign pledge that the United States would invest $15 billion annually to develop technologies such as wind and solar, next-wave biofuels, "clean coal" and efficient cars.
Given these circumstances - and the need to protect human health and the natural environment without compromising the economic environment -- the question is: How may America assure its energy security, while also assuring human health and safety, environmental quality and economic development for generations to come?
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Televised Dialogues on Energy Security
All programs broadcast statewide on South Carolina Educational Television and its affiliate, The South Carolina Channel. The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) distributed the latter two programs to its educational and public broadcasting affiliates nationwide.
Securing Our Future: The Hydrogen Alternative March 2006
Program description: With a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory, forward-thinking corporate visionaries, and cutting edge research facilities at its colleges and universities, South Carolina is uniquely positioned to develop, employ and benefit from hydrogen fuel cell technology. The question is: How do we move forward in making South Carolina the Hydrogen State?
Securing Our Future: The Hydrogen Alternative brings together six expert panelists to discuss South Carolina’s role in declaring our nation’s energy independence. Panelists and studio audience discuss issues and circumstances contributing to health-status disparities affecting low-income and minority South Carolinians. Topics include access to and affordability of healthcare, the cultural competence of South Carolina’s healthcare practitioners and educators, and the lack of effective public health initiatives in minority communities.
Securing Our Future: From Farm to Fuel February 2007
Program description: In his 2007 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush said our nation’s energy policy must include alternative energy resources -- including cellulosic ethanol and other renewable fuels -- as one means of reducing our “addiction” to foreign oil. Many prominent elected officials, including U.S. Representative and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, envision a time when the expression “home grown and American made” describes a new generation of fuels that power our nation’s economy. The question is: Will Americans embrace this new vision of energy independence and see the sense of taking home grown agricultural products “from farm to fuel”?
Securing Our Future: From Farm To Fuel brings together six expert panelists to discuss the role “biofuels” may play in reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil.
Securing Our Future: The Nuclear Alternative October 2008
Program description: In Securing Our Future: The Nuclear Alternative, Moderator John King, seven expert panelists and an interactive studio audience, examine the pros and cons of commercial nuclear energy. Proponents say nuclear is safe, reliable, cost-effective and non-polluting. Opponents cite massive construction costs, safety concerns and the radioactive waste generated by nuclear reactors.
Regardless, a generation removed from Three Mile Island and thousands of miles from Chernobyl, commercial nuclear energy is back on the table in America. In reality, it never left. Even with a long-term virtual freeze on new construction, 104 reactors in 31 states meet approximately 20% of our nation’s growing demand for electricity. Do we need more? Do we want more?
For more information on the Securing Our Future Series, or a DVD copy of a specific program, contact Richard Jablonski at firstname.lastname@example.org, Latecia Abraham at email@example.com, or Glenn Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.