Can We Have the 21st Century Already?
We must move to end all fossil fuel use as soon as possible. Pollution, the byproducts of energy production, means that a process is inefficient and therefore can be done better. Disregarding the fact that they are inefficient, fossil fuels are a finite resource. Meaning we MUST change eventually, we have no choice. Without even discussing the ramifications of climate change, it makes no fiscal sense to invest in a dying system of energy. The only reason we rely on fossil fuels is because our energy economy is on-demand, use or lose, with no storage. That all results from a power grid built on outdated technology. As soon as we begin to implement energy storage, on-demand energy sources will go by the wayside. Storage techniques can be innovative systems of induction coils, or simplistic man-made hydroelectric reservoirs. Battery and solar technology has become cheaper in many areas of the south when compared to fossil fuel use of any variety. Material Science into semiconducting materials has greatly reduced the losses of long range power transportation from solar/wind/hydroelectric farms. With the onset of a new power grid comes easy simultaneous changes to transportation. We desperately need to keep pace with the Europeans who have already begun working on future bans of fossil fuel trucks and cars by rebuilding our infrastructure with electric AUTONOMOUS vehicles in mind. As we transition our energy infrastructure off of fossil fuels, to cheaper more efficient methods, we can begin the widespread use of electric cars. This reduces sound and air pollution in cities. It reduces the public health risk of respiratory diseases in children. Transportation costs for everyone will be reduced. Autonomous vehicles will also allow people to get places more quickly with higher safe speeds, and more efficient traffic patterns.
Nuclear Has Over Stayed
Nuclear energy could have been the transitional fuel source that Methane was marketed as by many. However, it has been used for far to long, and outlived its cost/benefit window. Nuclear power costs in the long term, regarding waste storage and facility maintenance, now exceed the cost of renewable energy sources. Nuclear energy is good for the purpose of say a nuclear submarine, which must be able to power itself for years on end in a closed system, but for massive production, not so much. There has not yet been a productive way to store or reuse nuclear waste and depleted nuclear fuel. It is worth continued science though, if a material could be designed which could capture radiation from waste in crystals to be used as batteries then it would be feasible. This is not impossible, radioactive crystals only a few microns across can be put into batteries which harness radiation for energy, leaving only stable rocks as waste. So it is possible nuclear could be resurrected some day due to advancements in science, but as fuel source for the public now, it is dying out to its competition.
Simple question to everyone in Illinois: When was the last time your power went out? Energy independence is one of the key gains of the green energy movement. With solar panels and wind turbines on every roof, and hydroelectric generators on rainwater collection systems and throughout the drainage system, everyone in Illinois should be able to become relatively energy independent with an in home battery. Meaning no one in Illinois should have to go without power just because a small section of the power grid was damaged. Never in Illinois will you find a four day period where it is not sunny, rainy, or windy. We have the chance to make a full break from the fossil fuel industry, and the startup costs can be taken on by the state government, giving everyone in Illinois the chance to save money on their power bill. If they even end up still getting one. Many states around the country, in conjunction with private businesses, have set up programs where a person is able to become energy independent and in some cases completely erase their electric bill without ever increasing their annual power expenses (and sometimes saving money even in the short term).
In the 64th district
We live in a place where we cannot rely on one source of renewables like say Hawaii or Kansas. Here in McHenry and Lake County we have windy overcast winters, and sunny calm summers. This means that any plan for a renewable future MUST include both. The reforms I have outlined in other sections will provide an excess of funds for the state to spend in the facilitation of this process. Through tax credits, we can make it possible for home, apartment, and business owners to fully fund home/business solar and wind installations for the same reduction in cost that they see due to credits and reductions in electric bills. With public financing on top of this, we can set up monthly payment systems that will not only save the beneficiaries of these new energy production systems money in the short and long term, but rid our communities from the pollution of coal plants and hazards of nuclear waste sites. The worst part of all this is that we could have done this so long ago, we would barely remember a time where things were different.