May 16, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we will be holding a virtual Hands Across the Sand.
Be Part of the Solution
Clean Energy Solutions
We don’t have to drill our way to energy independence—in fact, we can’t! What we can do is support clean domestic energy solutions to meet our energy needs with our own resources and our own people. To replace offshore drilling, we must mitigate our need for oil as a transportation fuel and for natural gas as a heating and electricity fuel. The first thing we should do is to use the energy we create more efficiently. This will go a long way in helping us to lessen our need for more energy. Meeting our remaining energy needs with renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and biomass will allow us to power the future with minimal pollution and little dependence on fossil fuels. Renewable energy can provide us with the energy we need cleanly, cheaply, and indefinitely.
Get off Oil with Better Transportation
The vast majority of the oil we drill offshore goes toward transportation fuel for cars, trucks, ships, and planes. In order to reduce our dependence on oil, we must rethink how we do transportation. A few ways we can do this are through better vehicle efficiency, fleet electrification, switching to biofuels, and changing driving behavior. Vehicle efficiency—or getting more miles per gallon—can be easily achieved by a variety of methods and thanks to CAFE Standards, cars and light trucks will be getting 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 and saving billions of dollars in fuel costs. Electric vehicles have made big progress in the past few years and show significant promise in getting us off oil. Estimates are that tens of thousands of electric cars will be sold in the U.S. this year and hundreds of thousands will be sold around the world. Electric cars need no oil and can be fueled by clean renewable electricity sources instead. Using biofuels such as biodiesel or ethanol is another way of kicking the oil habit. Ethanol has gotten a bad reputation in recent years due to bad policy, but with the right policies in place, ethanol technology could be a huge energy asset. Finally, driving behavior can be changed so that we use less oil. Driving less by combining trips, carpooling, taking public transit, or biking or even things like accelerating more gradually can dramatically cut our need for oil and also make for a better quality of life.
Learn more about better transportation and how you can get involved:
- Why is Fuel Economy Important? – FuelEconomy.gov
- Gas Mileage Tips – FuelEconomy.gov
- Learn About Biofuels – Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
- Purchasing a Greener Vehicle – Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Get off Natural Gas with Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Offshore drilling isn’t just about oil—lots of the drilling is for natural gas too, which is used for heating and electricity production. Energy efficiency and renewable energies such as wind, solar and biomass pave a clear path reducing our need for offshore gas.
Simple efficiency measures for residences, and commercial and industrial facilities can greatly reduce the amount of energy we need and also lower our bills. Lower bills keep more of our money within our own communities and furthermore, implementing energy efficiency has been shown to create more jobs than does producing additional energy.
Learn more about energy efficiency and how you can get involved:
- Southern Alliance for Clean Energy – Learn About Energy Efficiency
- Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Energy Efficiency
- ICLEI-USA – Energy Efficiency
Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and biomass provide us the means to produce heat and electricity with very little resource use and minimal pollution. There are vast resources of untapped renewable energy resources within the Unites States and globally that can meet all our energy needs, spur job creation, and massively stimulate the economy.
Wind energy takes harvests the wind’s power and turns it into electricity. Wind energy does not use fuel or water like other power plants and is therefore not subject to fuel price increases or production dips due to drought. Even more, wind energy doesn’t create any pollution so we can keep our beaches, oceans, and treasured lands clean for future generations.
Solar energy is the most abundant energy source on earth! Similar to wind energy, it doesn’t use any fuel or water and therefore it also isn’t subject to fuel price increases or production dips due to drought nor does it create any pollution. Contrary to outdated rumors, rooftop solar electricity production is not only feasible, but also often economic. As electricity rates go up in the future, you can contentedly watch your meter spin backwards and in some states even earn money doing it. Solar is a smart way to heat your water too. Solar hot water systems take advantage of the sun to give you hot water for domestic use, space heating, or pool heating.
Biomass energy is created from biological resources such as wood, agricultural crops, and algae. These resources can be burned to generate electricity or processed into liquid transportation fuels such as biodiesel. When done responsibly and sustainably, biomass energy can be indefinitely renewable and carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative. Furthermore, using biomass to generate energy can help repurpose waste products. Most of us have heard of turning waste restaurant oil into biodiesel, but what about generating electricity from logging residue or livestock waste? While most regions do not have their own reserves of coal, natural gas, or oil, almost all regions have access to biomass which means they have their very own homegrown energy-generating resources!
While renewable energy technology is constantly improving, we already have most of the technology we need to transition to a clean energy economy. The time is now to demand clean energy solutions!
Learn more about renewable energy and how you can get involved:
- Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Program Areas
- Department of Energy –Renewable Energy
- ICLEI-USA – Clean Energy Types
The Coastal Connection
Offshore wind energy is a particularly powerful alternative to offshore drilling. Supporting offshore wind instead of offshore drilling sends the message to political leaders and business interests that we don’t want to spoil our waters and beaches with oil or gas but we say “yes!” clean renewable energy off our coasts!