Wed, 14 September 2011
Montana's Energy Future (Part Two): Differing Perspectives on the Energy Economy of the Rocky Mountain West
The future of global energy production is shaping up to be one of the most important and complicated issues of our time. From limited traditional fuel sources like oil and coal to newer, cleaner energy like wind, solar and bio-mass, nothing is off the table when it comes to meeting the growing global demand for energy. And while the energy market is increasingly global, the debate over the sustainability of our energy use is rooted in regional geographies, statewide politics and local communities – those affected by discreet projects and those that will be most affected by climate impacts.
To shed some light on just how complex and nuanced these energy issues are, we focus on the state of Montana – which shares the largest coal deposits in the U.S. (along with Wyoming), ranks fifth among states for potential wind energy production and is home to one of the largest domestic oil shale deposits.
In the second episode of this three part series, we speak with Gloria Flora, former U.S. Forest Supervisor and founder and Director of Sustainable Obtainable Solutions, an organization dedicated to the sustainability of public lands. Gloria recently co-authored a report on how Montana can become energy self-reliant through renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation and is championing something known as 'biochar' as a possible carbon-negative energy source.
To learn more about Gloria Flora's work, visit the US Biochar Initiative homepage at www.biochar-us.org. And stay tuned in the next few weeks to hear the final installment in this series, a conversation with regional wind expert Tom Darin on the Montana wind market.
[Music: Phillip Aaberg, "Keep Walkin" from Blue West (Sweet Grass, 2005); Vampire Weekend, "White Skies" from Contra (XL, 2010)]