Forum provides information on energy alternatives

Forum provides information on energy alternatives By: David Lias
Plain Talk Ed Cable couldnâ�?�?t have been more pleased Saturday afternoon at the conclusion of five-hour forum sponsored by the Save Union�?  County Ballot Question Committee at the Dakota Valley Elementary School in McCook Lake.�?  â�?�?We had about 100 people attend, and we were very pleased with that,â�? he said. â�?�?The people who came were very interested in listening to the stories other people had to tell relating to their experience with refineries, and the research that experts at The University of South Dakota have conducted to provide information on refineries and IGCC centers, and just trying to make all of that information available to the public so that they can make an informed decision on June 3.â�? Voters will go the polls that day to decide not only local elections, but also whether a decision by the Union County Commission to change zoning on a parcel or land in the county will stand to allow the refinery to be constructed. Speakers at Saturdayâ�?�?s forum included James Hoefelmeyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry at USD, Dean Spader, Ph.D., professor emeritus political science at USD, Mary Jo Stueve of South Dakota Clean Water, and Juliana Williams, who is the midwest organizer for the Sierra Club Student Coalition.�?  Cable said some people have criticized the Save Union�?  County Ballot Question Committee because it appears to be only negative. â�?�?But from the beginning, we have been very much in favor of renewable, sustainable energy,â�? he said. â�?�?That includes solar, the bio-fuels â�?�? ethanol and biodiesel â�?�? and also wind power. â�?�?We believe we should be having a local, regional, state and national emphasis on more energy conservation,â�? Cable said, â�?�?and a look to green fuels and green energy.â�? Hoefelmeyer has researched the ever growing energy needs the both the United States and the world will need in the future as increasing population numbers will only heighten the demand for energy. The chemistry professor notes that the United States would make greater strides toward energy independence if it took the $10 billion needed to construct the Hyperion Energy Center and added another $10 billion that he believes the nation can save by using renewable fuels. â�?�?Imagine what $20 billion would do to generate the amount of energy that could come from wind or solar or geothermal,â�? Cable said. â�?�?That would be just a huge net add (of energy) for the entire Midwest and the United States as a whole.â�? Hoefelmeyer is particularly intrigued by the potential of solar energy development. As the price of oil continues to rise, and research makes harvesting energy from the sun more effective, he believes it could someday greatly reduce and maybe eventually replace the

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