Tuesday, January 24, 2012

State of Our Union... In Motion

Tonight, we'll be watching what may be the most critical moment of 2012.

And then tomorrow, the President arrives here. And on Thursday, he'll be giving a speech on energy. However, don't expect another talk in front of a solar power plant.

A look at the president’s detailed travel schedule reveals a few clues about the specifics he might be getting into — at least enough for one good guess.

In Nevada, conversations about investing in energy usually revolve around geothermal power or solar panels. But Obama is not coming to Nevada to talk at a power plant in the desert.

Obama arrives in Las Vegas Wednesday evening. On Thursday morning, he is delivering public remarks at the United Parcel Service Las Vegas South facility.

Last year, UPS announced it had contracted with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. to roll out a fleet of 48 liquefied natural gas-fueled transport trucks at a new LNG [liquefied natural gas] fueling station. The initial contract, set for seven years, started in 2011.

So what is this about? Clean Energy Fuels started opening LNG fueling stations in Southern Nevada last year. Now there are four stations here in the valley. And last year, UPS began replacing its older diesel trucks with LNG powered trucks.

And while there are still clear environmental risks with LNG fuel, it is much cleaner than any other fossil fuel, it is more readily available domestically (so not as much need to import, unlike oil), and it may even be cheaper than traditional crude oil based gasoline. It may not be a good idea to declare natural gas a panacea, but it may be useful as a "transitional fuel" while research continues on more ways to harness renewable energy. And considering all the jobs that are being created as companies like UPS switch their vehicles from traditional gas or diesel to LNG, this can certainly provide a much needed boost to the economy.

So again, President Obama is looking ahead to future opportunities to create more American jobs while also doing something serious about climate change. We've recently regained the title of top global investor in clean energy, and there's plenty more economic benefit to investing in our future.

But of course, the G-O-TEA fools running against Obama just don't get it. What are their proposals to cut greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs? They don't have any. In fact, they'd rather conspire with lobbyists from foreign oil conglomerates to increase their profits than do something to help American workers looking for good American jobs!

Of course, we've seen for ourselves what the likes of API do to try to confuse us about climate change and smart energy solutions. So hopefully this week, Nevadans will be able to see for themselves who's looking forward to smart energy saving and economy boosting solutions... And who's just pitifully stuck in reverse.

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