Hands across the Sands. Charlie speaks.

At Worldwide demonstrations on June 26, 2010, people held hands at beaches, docks, lakes, etc. to show that they want an end to polluting energy and a future powered by the sun. Check out this media coverage.

Local EV owners hit the press.


Rob and John, EVADC members and pals of Charlie & Jerry
John Alder’s 1991 Suzuki GSX 600 Katana motorcycle barely made a sound as it pulled out of his driveway Monday. That’s because the Catonsville man converted it to run on electricity.

But lack of noise is just one benefit, he says. Even better, there are fewer climate-warming emissions, and dependence on gasoline is eliminated. Alder charges the bike at home in his garage at night.

The front-yard demonstration was part of an effort by local electric-vehicle owners and environmentalists to draw attention to the positive impact of switching our car-loving nation to less-polluting options.

“I thought electric vehicles would be something we’d have by now,” Alder said, explaining why he converted his bike, at a total cost of about $3,500, including the motorcycle. “It’s just not happening.”

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Alder and others called on Congress to pass energy legislation that would promote the greener technology. The House of Representatives has passed a bill, but the effort has stalled in the Senate.

Environment Maryland, hosts of the Monday event, called on Maryland senators to urge the leadership to take a vote. The group also released a report called “Charging Ahead: Curbing Oil Consumption with Plug-In Cars” that outlines the potential benefits and how the switch would work.

The report says the current electric grid could fuel up to 73 percent of U.S. vehicles without building another power plant if the vehicles were charged at night or solar energy was used during the day.

Brad Heavner, state director of the environmental group, noted that many carmakers are beginning to roll out plug-in hybrids or fully electric cars, including the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius. Operating costs are likely to be about 5 cents a mile, the report says.

But more federal backing is needed to push change faster, Heavner said.

“The catastrophe of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is making it more clear than ever that we need to work harder to reduce our dependence on oil,” he said. “The U.S. Senate must pass a comprehensive global warming bill that caps emissions and invests in clean energy options, including electric vehicle technology.”

He was backed by the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, as well as state Dels. James E. Malone Jr. and Steven J. DeBoy Sr., Baltimore County Democrats. The lawmakers plan to work with homeowners associations on legislation in the next year to allow residents without garages to use extension cords to plug in electric cars

More Polls say Americans willing to pay for clean energy

The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, conducted by McCain pollster Bill McInturff (R), along with Peter Hart (D), found that by a stunning 2 to 1 margin, Americans want good, comprehensive energy reform that reduces carbon emissions and stimulates clean energy development. Here’s the breakdown:
First, the question didn’t pull any punches, as sometimes is the case in such polls. Here’s the question:

Do you support or oppose an energy proposal designed to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, even if it means an increase in the cost of energy? And, do you strongly (support/oppose) or just somewhat (support/oppose) this?

And, here’s how the responses lined up (via Climate Progress):
36% Strongly Support
27% Support
14% Oppose
17% Stongly Oppose

In total, that means 63% of respondents favor an energy plan that reduces carbon emissions and spurs clean energy development at an unspecified additional cost to themselves — and only 31% oppose it.

In part, this eagerness for energy reform has surely been spurred by the crisis caused by the BP Gulf spill (though support for comprehensive, global warming-fighting energy legislation has been favored by the majority in polling for at least a year now). As you can see, the only things Americans want action on more is the economy:
33% Job creation and economy
22% Gulf Oil spill and energy
15% Deficit and gov’t spending
9% Terrorism and nat’l security

Which is why, in a better world, some shrewd politician would amp up the current energy bill (instead of paring it down), and include green jobs provisions to address both concerns. Which brings us to those real-world politicians — as you may be aware, the Senate is currently stumbling over itself, trying to land on a safe, voter-approved way to get an energy bill through. Dems are worried there aren’t enough votes for comprehensive energy reform (the kind US citizens want), so they’re looking at a bevy of weaker options like the utility-only bill and an energy-only bill.