I stumbled across the above video while doing some research on a writer named Randy Udall. (I am still wondering if he is any relation to the political Udalls.) I thought it was worth sharing with you.
There is definitely a reason why I like Jim Rogers better than John Rowe.
Update: (Posted August 23, 2009 0750) Yes, Randy Udall is part of the Udall political family that includes such members as his grandfather – Lewis Stewart Udall, his father – Mo Udall, his uncle – Stewart Udall, his brother – Mark Udall, and his cousin – Tom Udall.
Here is a brief explanation of his current employment:
Randy Udall has directed the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE), a nonprofit organization that promotes energy efficiency and renewable energy since 1994. CORE Director Udall also serves on the Board of Directors of Solar Energy International and Colorado Renewable Energy Society. CORE promotes renewable energy and energy efficiency in partnership with Holy Cross Energy, a rural electric utility serving 40,000 customers. Holy Cross leads the U.S. in the percentage of its customers who buy wind power.
(Source: Randy Udall: Keynote Speaker for Annual Meeting of Northern Plains Annual Meeting Nov 2008.)
My interest in Randy Udall’s employment, family background and history stems from having read the following opinion piece dated August 20, 2009: Column: Can natural gas save the world?. In that column, Udall writes:
In July, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, D, addressed hundreds of natural gas executives at a conference in Denver. A year ago Ritter was in the midst of a bruising battle with the industry, as he championed new standards for drilling and wildlife protection. Now, facing a tough re-election challenge, he struck a conciliatory note.
“Natural gas is a vital part of the new energy economy – not a bridge fuel, not a transition fuel, but a mission-critical fuel,” the governor proclaimed. “We can’t begin to address climate change in a meaningful way without using more natural gas.”
In recent months, clean-energy advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth have echoed similar sentiments. “Climate disruption is real,” Wirth told the Denver conference. “The gas industry must play a major role in saving the world.”
Wirth and Ritter are right. The big question is what to do about coal. Each day, 10,000 hopper cars heaped with coal – enough to fill a train 110 miles long – trundle out of the Rockies, bound for power plants as distant as Florida.
That is a pretty interesting argument for a man with the Environmentalist and alternative energy promotion credentials that Udall carries. The concluding paragraphs of the column are even more interesting food for thought about the alliances that are gathering to influence legislation scheduled to be debated this fall:
Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain gas industry is suffering through its worst year in recent history. Commodity prices have cratered, and not a single coalbed methane well was drilled in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin in June, welcome news to local environmental groups.
For the next year or two, the nation is likely to remain awash in gas. But if the whole nation were to embrace fuel switching, as it may need to do to reduce emissions quickly, the glut would disappear and much more gas would be needed. Gas reserves aren’t the issue, due to the discovery of large new sources of shale gas. But to displace large amounts of coal, natural gas drilling would need to resume the frantic, helter-skelter pace of recent years.
It’s a heartbreaking dilemma: The gas industry has not been gentle on Western landscapes, but climate change could be worse. So pick your poison. To displace coal with gas, we’d need to complete 30,000 to 40,000 new wells a year for decades to come. If that’s our only strategy for averting climate disaster, we might need to put somebody like Sarah Palin in charge of drilling.
I would pick a different strategy, like building lots of emission-free nuclear heat sources to replace existing boilers in coal fired power plants. Apparently, Udall accepts the notion that natural gas can do the job of replacing coal and somehow reduce climate changing emissions significantly in the process. He even accepts the idea that the process will require a “frantic” pace of drilling. Here is the context in which the single mention of nuclear energy appears in his column:
“To hit Ritter’s target (which is a 20 percent reduction in electric-sector greenhouse emissions by 2020), all growth in demand would need to be met through conservation and a multibillion investment in carbon-free wind, solar or nuclear.”
Wonder if the 30,000 to 40,000 new gas wells will require something less than a mulit-billion dollar investment?
Update: (Posted August 23, 2009 1642) Randy Udall wrote a prescient article in 1999 titled When will the Joyride End?. Recommended reading, especially for people who agree that Peak Oil is either nearly here or recently past.