Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - February 19, 2020 


President Trump commutes the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Plus, warming expected to be hot topic at NV debate.

2020Talks - February 19, 2020 


Tonight's the Las Vegas debate, ahead of this weekend's Nevada caucuses. Some candidates are trying to regain the spotlight and others are trying to keep momentum.

Advocate: Energy “Independence Day” Growing Closer

IMAGE: While the U.S. is approaching its energy “independence day,” clean energy advocate Amanda Ormond says every effort must still be made to reduce climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions. CREDIT: Arizona State University.
IMAGE: While the U.S. is approaching its energy “independence day,” clean energy advocate Amanda Ormond says every effort must still be made to reduce climate-changing carbon dioxide emissions. CREDIT: Arizona State University.
July 1, 2013

PHOENIX - By some estimates, the U.S. is growing close to its "energy independence day," when the nation no longer needs to import energy from foreign sources. Oil and natural gas production are booming, along with new sources of renewable energy.

However, an Arizona clean-energy advocate warns that ignoring the effect of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels can cause environmental chaos in the long run. According to Amanda Ormond, managing director of Western Grid Group, the evidence is plain to see.

"In Arizona, talking about climate, people don't want to talk about it," she said. "But it is going to get hotter and drier in our state. So it's really not smart to not be talking about climate and working to mitigate climate impacts."

Ormond said increasing the share of energy produced from renewable sources is the best strategy, along with increased energy efficiency, which she said is the cleanest energy source and also the cheapest, because it's the electricity you don't use.

She said energy security is an important part of energy independence.

"If you're producing wind and solar energy on our soil that needs no fuel from foreign sources, that I think is energy independence that we want," she said. "It doesn't mean we're never going to import something, but it means that we are developing as much of our own technology as we can."

Ormond is troubled that the Arizona Corporation Commission is reconsidering the state's renewable energy standard, which requires 15 percent of electricity to be generated by renewable means by the year 2025. She noted that Arizona Public Service company has already exceeded the standard, years early.

"There are thousands of new rooftop systems, and people understand that they can put solar on their roofs and have a little energy independence," she said.

Last week, President Obama praised what he called "cleaner-burning natural gas" as a safe and cheap source of power that he said will help reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions.

Ormond however isn't so sure, noting that in many production areas natural gas is being flared off instead of being contained.

"Natural gas is an important component of our energy future, but it still releases a lot of carbon dioxide," she pointed out. "And if we're concerned about climate, I think we have to be concerned about greater and greater uses of natural gas, because it's still a fossil fuel."

Ormond gained a degree of fame during Arizona's alt-fuels scandal in 2000 when she correctly warned that a generous tax credit for converting vehicles to propane and natural gas could potentially bankrupt the state. She was fired from her state job as a result.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ