Thursday, June 22, 2006

Of Mice and Men

I've been in a strategic retreat all day.

We are meeting because one of the most successful renewable energy organizations in the United States finds itself in a bit of pickle.

Fifteen years ago or so, this organization made history of a sort by inviting the dark side into its membership. It was revolutionary. If renewable energy was ever going to make the kind of true progress that we need it to make in the electric sector, it will have to be adopted by those who actually make the electricity.

At one time, before deregulation, over 80% of the electric meters in Texas were served by electric utilities that had joined in and participated with this organization that advocated and promoted the use of clean renewable energy.

As time went by, the organization brought in other key groups such as environmental organizations and consumer organizations.

And it must have worked pretty well.

According to the most recent announcements, Texas has surpassed California as the leading renewable energy state. Quite an accomplishment, given the lead California had in the early 80s and the natural early adopter attitude that flowers from our left coast.

But today's talks are not about our success.

No, today's talks are about something else.

They are about not allowing this organization to oppose coal plants, which it did in the 80s and 90s, making it a force to be reckoned with.

They are about not allowing this organization to oppose the construction of future nuclear plants, because these same utilities believe that a portfolio of energy resources is essential to the well balanced electric utility.

They are about not allowing this organization to call for bold action to bring renewable energy on line as fast and efficiently as possible so that we might have a fighting chance of slowing the long slow train of climate disaster, even though we can all see its smoke on the horizon, and those who would listen, can hear that proverbial whistle blowing.

No, today's talks are about making this organization more businesslike.

We met in the fancy conference center of our host,

a special breed of water and electric utility.

We have one of those facilitators.

We draw on giant post-it sheets.

We stick them on the wall.

We break into little groups.

We may break into bigger groups tomorrow.

Perhaps the time for this organization has passed.

We don't need mousey little commitments towards saving our planet

from the scourge of our own fires,

We need bold, imaginative, totally unrealistic goals that

We must thoroughly intend to meet.

We need to meet all of our needs, from now on, without carbon,

and without poisonous rocks.

We don't need to be more businesslike.

And we shouldn't be in retreat.

And we shouldn't Lenny pet our fuzzy friends too hard.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear more about what's going on in the power world and in the "power" world.

I didn't understand the "Lenny pet our fuzzy friends" reference. Enlighten me please

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it that all good things come to an end? Can this marriage be saved? And where will this take our renewable standing.

(I didn't know that we were in the lead.)

Is this what happens when we get in bed with the big guys?

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow --

Nice goin!

6:41 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

Lenny(in of Mice and Men) loved the mouse so much, he killed it by petting it.

Lenny is a little slow.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the name of this orginazation?

1:04 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

I almost always let the reader fill in the proper nouns. This is no exception. The points are generally universal.

11:02 AM  

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