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America CAN Compete (As originally published in The Danville/Alamo/Lafayette Today Newspaper, May 2012)

Read Original Newspaper Article PDF here

My personal experiences in the First Gulf War forged my belief that America needed an alternative energy strategy. It became evident to me that neither the environment or US military could, or should, sustain the status quo. Carl Von Clausewitz said, “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” The reality is “War is oftentimes a continuation of energy policy by other means.” As designed by our Constitution, the military follows the orders of our elected civilian government without question. Policy begins at home.

I have yet to hear a valid argument that refutes the benefits of a mature domestic alternative energy policy. Both political parties believe that reduced reliance on foreign oil is good for our national security environment and economy.A 25% reduction in domestic oil consumption will eradicate our reliance on oil from the Middle East. Imagine the resulting political and economic benefits.

Energy Tip : You’ll save 3-5% on air conditioning electricity costs if you raise your thermostat just one degree higher.

A great percentage of the readership of the Danville Today newspaper recognize the sacrifices of our veterans. What sacrifice can citizens make to contribute to our national security and to improve our economy? It’s a simple question but a question that every citizen needs to answer with integrity.

Adopting an alternative energy policy at your own home or business will provide financial reward whilst reducing American reliance on foreign sources of energy. “Making a difference” and achieving an 11 to 13% return on your solar investment makes solar rewarding in more ways than one.

Energy Fact : The highest proportion of new electricity being supplied to the US utility grid is from solar energy projects. Currently, over 113,000 Californian residents and businesses are reaping the rewards of solar. 63,000+ solar arrays were installed in the USA last year.

Solyndra : To associate the events surrounding Solyndra to the solar industry as a whole is inappropriate. The Department of Energy supports new American technologies . Unfortunately, the new technology Solyndra product was destined to fail in the marketplace due to lower silicon prices which advantaged traditional solar technologies. The jury is still out as to whether Solyndra’s failure was accelerated by poor management and the misuse of government funds.Had the auto industry failed after the government bailouts, there would have been the same political fallout. The auto industry is thriving. Solyndra didn’t represent the greater solar industry in technology or business practices. It did represent American ingenuity in design and workforce dedication.

China Trade Case : It’s of ficial, China does not participate in fair trade or currency practices. The International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce have imposed tariffs on Chinese manufacturers for the illegal dumping of Chinese solar panels on the US market. The determination has been made that American panels are manufactured at the same cost as Chinese panels. Through government subsidies, the Chinese have been selling their panels at a loss to undercut and flood our market, destroying American jobs in the process. Chinese exports are also advantaged by the People’s Republic currency policies. The findings of this trade case are monumental. AMERICA CAN COMPETE if everyone plays by the same set of rules. Americans are helping fuel the Chinese economy by purchasing Chinese products. I believe that this new found Chinese economic power will come back to haunt us militarily. Fact : North Korea and Iran are very closely allied with The People’s Republic of China.

Solar Tip : If you’ve been provided a $0 down “solar lease option,” then sub-sequently talked into “prepaying the lease,” don’t do it. There are better options to consider than a “pre-paid solar lease.”

By Mark Becker, GoSimpleSolar

There will be a Grand Opening celebration of GoSimpleSolar’s store-front location in downtown Danville on May 22nd at 5:30pm .
Please come see our American products at 114 West Prospect Avenue, at the corner of Railroad Ave.

Mark Becker is the President of GoSimpleSolar, by Semper Fidelis Construction,a Danville based Solar Installation Firm based in Danville.He can be reached at 925.915.9252. For  more details, see www.GoSimpleSolar.com oremail Mark@GoSimpleSolar.com.