Front Porch Blog

Renewable Energy Initiatives

Wind Turbines are a form of renewable energy that harness the power of ever circulating wind.

In 2007 Bush signed a $162 Billion war supplemental in order to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan until 2009. This federal money is put into perspective by the Apollo Alliance and Policy Matters Ohio’s Renewable Energy Policy Project, which states a $72 billion investment, would yield 74,000 megawatts of renewable energy in the U.S. The aforementioned energy output is 16% of the national energy production in 2007.
Increased reliance on renewable energy reduces the reliance on antiquated sources of energy such as coal, which contributes to air pollution by releasing millions of tons of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and mercury into the atmosphere, while devastating hundreds of mountains, communities, and streams. Mountain Top Removal is an intensive way to obtain coal by blowing the tops off mountains. MTR has destroyed 470 mountains while devastating the surrounding streams and communities.
Supplements to renewable energy will not only increase our national independence, but it will decrease our dependence on dirty sources of energy and in turn decrease pollution, the damage to our mountains, communities and water sources. Renewable energy is a perpetual energy source that can provide jobs and wealth to a community. Why is this renewable energy not being funded when it is a mere portion of the federal money being spent on less sustainable efforts?

Why Not a Renewable Energy War Supplemental?
Published by danawv, July 9th, 2008 global warming

I thought this analysis would help shed light on some of the misinformation being put forth on some of the comments about the cost of coal and feasibility of renewable energy. It’s exciting to think that for about 1/3 of the money we are looking to spend on coal plants we could have 16% of the US running on renewables. And that doesn’t even include the cost of research and development for Carbon Sequestration or the cost of mining coal and reclaiming land decimated by coal mining.

Written by Rory McIlmoil of the Coal River Wind Project,

“President Bush has signed a $162 billion war supplemental that will fund the wars in Iraq and Ahghanistan into 2009.”, July 7th, 2007.

A report put out in October of 2005 by the Renewable Energy Policy Project, the Apollo Alliance and Policy Matters Ohio puts the $162 billion mentioned in the above headline into some perspective. The report, “Generating Energy, Generating Jobs,” states that a national investment of $71.8 Billion is what would be required in order to develop 74,000 Megawatts of renewable energy across the nation. What that 74,000 MW amounts to is 16% of national electricity production in 2007. In a time when we are increasingly experiencing the impacts of climate change, when the utilization of coal is causing ever greater damage to our land, water and our health, and when 100 new coal-fired power plants have been proposed at an average cost of $2 Billion each (for a potential grand total of $200 Billion), why is our government not signing off on $72 Billion of funding for renewable energy development in a time of veritable “energy wars”??

The Apollo report shows that only $72 Billion would lead to the development of over 50,000 MW of wind energy, 9,260 MW of solar, 8,700 MW of biomass energy, and 6,077 MW of geothermal. So this mix basically covers a significant proportion of each of the non-renewable resources that we apparently “depend on.” Take coal for example. The nearly 60,000 MW of wind and solar that Apollo reports could be developed with strong national investment could effectively displace 26% of all coal-fired electricity across the United States (based on 2007 consumption). That would amount to a reduction in the ‘need’ for 272 Million tons of coal, EVERY YEAR. It would lead to the natural sequestration of 700 million tons of CO2 – or about 28% of all electricity-based carbon dioxide emissions in 2006. It would prevent the release of 2.8 million tons of sulfur dioxide, 1.1 million tons of nitrous oxides, and 20 TONS of mercury. Perhaps most importantly, it would help to save Central Appalachia from further destruction due to Mountaintop Removal coal mining.

In 2007, Central Appalachian coal mines produced just over 390 Million tons of coal, approximately 30% of which, or 117 million tons, came from Mountaintop Removal (MTR) mining. Just think how many mountains and communities could be saved, how many ‘bombs’ over Appalachia could be prevented, and how many acres of some of the worlds most biodiverse forest could be preserved, if our nation were to take less than half of the money they want to spend in Iraq and Afghanistan and invest it in renewable energy production. At the same time, vast amounts of renewable energy potential would be spared by the reduced demand for coal. Mountaintop Removal has already destroyed thousands of Megawatts of wind potential by dramatically reducing the ridge elevations of over 470 mountains in Central Appalachia, all for the purpose of producing coal for the generation of electricity. Right now there is a campaign underway to save one such mountain that is slated to be destroyed by MTR, but that also has amazing wind potential ( It has been shown that Coal River Mountain in West Virginia holds the potential to produce over 440 Megawatts of wind power – enough to power over 150,000 homes in West Virginia. This would lead to the creation of stable, green jobs for local residents and a substantial amount of renewable energy that would be available long after all of the coal has been mined.

In a time when the price of oil and coal are skyrocketing, why are we spending more and more money on developing and protecting these non-renewable sources of energy, sources from which conflict, environmental degradation and social injustice are created? Why are we destroying the very resources upon which future energy production and economic development could be based? All it would take is $72 billion, which seems small in comparison to what is being spent on dirty energy sources. The benefits of renewable energy are obvious, and it is time to begin pushing for investments in renewable energy instead, for the sake of Appalachia, for the sake of our nation, and for the sake of the world.





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