Against the Grain: Making Renewable Energy Viable

[Editor's Note: This is a partial transcript of Against the Grain, a radio show hosted and co-produced by C.S. Soong and produced by Sasha Lilley. Against the Grain airs Monday through Wednesday on Pacifica Radio station KPFA 94.1 in Berkeley, Calif. This show originally aired on February 20, 2006, and is available as a podcast from]

Greenland's enormous ice sheet is about the size of Mexico. According to a study published last week, the amount of ice from Greenland's glaciers being dumped into the sea has doubled -- in just the past five years.

The consequences for global sea levels could be dire if the melting trend continues, and that trend depends in part on climate change, which depends in turn on the emission of greenhouse gases, such as by the burning of fossil fuels like oil and gas.

So where does this nation and the state of California stand with respect to renewables? Discouraging news continues to come from the federal level; last week the New York Times reported that the U.S. government is set to allow companies to pump $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal lands over the next five years without requiring those companies to pay any royalties; it's called one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in U.S. history.

We are delighted to be joined in studio by John Galloway. John is a Senior Energy Analyst for the Clean Energy Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and he's formerly an energy analyst with the California Public Utilities Commission.

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