These past few weeks have been both exhausting and exhilirating for me winding through the myriad benefits and bizarre regulatory barriers to wide scale distributed energy and ultimately local sustainability. As winter approaches and the price of oil continues to rise renewable energy is fast becoming the new “tech industry” and none too soon. From the Wall Street Journal

In New Hampshire, which along with Iowa and South Carolina will host an early nominating contest, prices for home heating oil are at record highs — 26% above last year. But the state has 25% less federal aid than it did last year to help families at or below the poverty level pay their heating bills. “We know that won’t serve everyone’s needs,” explained Celeste Lovett, program manager for the state’s energy and planning office.

In Iowa and much of the Midwest, where it is common to drive long distances and where farmers rely on propane for heating, politicians will have to answer repeated questions about soaring prices for gasoline and propane, which rise and fall along with internationally set crude oil prices.

Oregon is enhancing Business Energy Tax Credits and making renewable energy even more affordable. Low profile wind turbine technology and enhanced PV systems, co-generation systems are now pencilling out faster than ever before. Most importantly, this is all really being driven from the grassroots level and here in Coos Curry counties an energetic group of citizens are developing and implementing a model of sustainability which will produce local jobs and enhance educational systems for our youth.