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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Soaring Oil Prices Feul Renewables

Environmentalists have been explaining the benefits that alternative energy sources hold for the protection and renewal of the world around us, yet it has taken many years for consumers and legislators to take notice. What has changed? The attacks on 9-11 have definitely played a major role as fears of dependence on foreign oil and protection of domestic production and infrastructure has turned the heads of the government and the public towards renewable energy.

In addition, and possibly even more of a factor to the public's and government's attention towards renewables, is the hit we are taking to our pocketbooks with oil and gas prices soaring, and little sign of slowing in sight. On one hand I am pleased that alternative energy sources are becoming a mainstream option, however in part I am disappointed because the motivation behind it seems selfish. We fail to take serious notice when the environment is at risk, but when our budgets are in jeopardy, we finally wake up to the idea that there is another way. Beggars can't be choosers I suppose and whatever awakens the mass population to the efficiencies and other advantages of renewable energy should be welcomed.

In a recent article written by Betsy Blaney, Associated Press Writer - The Associated Press, "Oil prices motivating studies for renewable energy source ", the potential of manure is discussed as a viable source of energy. Biomass such as plant material and animal waste is an option for the production of energy that is gaining considerable attention from legislation, researchers and the public at large.

In today's environment of rising prices, options for using what is readily available on local soil is fast becoming the popular choice. Well stated by Donald L. Klass, director of Biomass Energy Research Association in Washington, "Anything that's renewable and is at least competitive with other prices, is better for everybody."