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Tomorrow morning, it is ask the editor time in Phoenix, as I head out to speak to a conference of folks engaged in training managers and leaders of energy companies.

Here are the questions they would like addressed.

1.       Martin, you spend a considerable amount of time interviewing and talking to many of the top executives of our country’s largest power generating companies – are there any common concerns or frustrations that they voice, or does it vary from company to company?

2.       Martin, in your research of the American Energy Industry, have you come across any large Corporations or Markets that would be threatened by an Energy Policy that proposes Energy independence from outside nations?

3.       With the advent of all this domestic natural gas becoming available through new drilling techniques, and the numerous uncertainties still associated with building nuclear power plants, what do you foresee as the future of nuclear power in the USA?

4.       Martin, put you on the spot here – are there really any major differences between what a newly elected Republican or Democratic administration would do in regards to a national energy policy?

5.       Martin, what percentage of our electric power do you believe is a reasonable number that this country can generate from “renewables” by the year 2020?

6.       Martin, assuming that battery technology improves to the point where electric vehicles can compete with internal combustion engine vehicles without government subsidies, and sales take-off; do you believe our electric infrastructure, as is, could meet this new demand for electric power?

7.       If you were King, would you proactively make changes to our national energy policies, or would you simply let the financial markets shape our path forward?

8.       Your thoughts on the future of coal fired power plants as part of our nation’s energy mix going forward.

9.       Who are the major lobbyists in DC influencing our energy policy today 

I have many thoughts I would like to share with them.

What about you? Do you have some insights you would like to put before them?

4193 Views Comments 4 Comments Comments Add Comment Author BioAuthor Bio
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member photo I agree if battery developement performance improves alternative energy will go souring. A
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# Posted By Tom Lyons | 5/18/12 2:31 PM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate
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# Posted By Tom Lyons | 5/18/12 2:45 PM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate
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# Posted By KARI KARAJAOJA | 6/30/12 12:16 AM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate
member photo All good questions, Martin. For what it's worth, here are some of my thoughts;

1. Lack of a coherent energy policy has to be very frustrating for utility executives. Long range planning has to be tough in that kind of an environment. For instance, are we looking at air emissions on a regional basis or not?

2. Define "threatened"? Most large energy companies are multinationals at this point-they can be flexible when it comes to investing resources. Personally, I have difficulty with us relying on Venezuela for a large portion of our oil (and our reliance on low prices).

3. With gas prices this low (and expectations that this will continue), nuclear will be hard to justify on an economic basis. For that matter, renewables are threatened by low cost gas as well.

I have been looking at the very small thermal nuclear technologies, maybe a glimmer of hope there. Want to put the nuclear power pack that's on the Mars rover in your garage? If you get 'off the grid' forever?

4. My guess is renewable subsidies are more likely to cease under a Republican administration. Is Obama ready to take on the big oil subsidies after the election?

5. Probably in the 15-20% range by 2020-

6. Yes, if real time pricing becomes widespread. Most will charge cars at night, and drive them during the day-right? Peak demand between 10:00P and midnight?

7. As I mentioned earlier, energy independence is a path we should continue on. The qualifier is at a reasonable cost.

The second issue is letting the financial industry set market prices for power. Everyone needs energy. The economically disadvantaged are hurt more by high energy prices than average person. This is a problem that needs to be closely watched. There are some very good reasons why this industry is regulated.

8. Coal capacity will continue its downward trend. With low gas prices, perhaps a little quicker than otherwise.

9. No idea-but I'm sure my congressman and Senators know who they are.

Good luck. Hope this helps-
# Posted By Kevin Swartz | 9/13/12 6:25 PM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate

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