And a lot of progress has been made in shifting the emphasis from coal and natural gas to cleaner forms, like solar and wind.
The Institute for Energy Research reports that about 9.9 percent of all energy consumed in the United States in 2015 was from renewable sources, and they account for about 13.4 percent of the nation’s total electricity production.
While it's still a small portion, interest in renewables is growing, leading those at the spear of energy research to dismiss the idea of coal making a significant comeback, though there are those who continue to campaign for dirty energy, among them our very own daily newspaper.
's recent editorial on Earth Day, a time we reflect on what we've done and can do to spare Mother Earth from ourselves, said this:
On a day we celebrate the Earth, it is reasonable for people to also acknowledge the role fossil fuels play in helping maintain and even improve our planet's condition.
Fossil fuels continue providing most of our energy and will do so for generations to come. Without fossil fuels, we cannot build a single solar panel or wind turbine....
We cannot function without fossil fuels, let alone improve our environment and perfect the harnessing of sunshine and wind.
That may explain why the Denver-based Independence Institute has made national headlines by sponsoring an "Earth Day Fossil Fuels Art Contest."
It's worth noting the newspaper is owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz who is building what reportedly will be the biggest wind farm anywhere in Wyoming.
Here's more on the contest
, which offers a $100 gift card to the winner to spend on gasoline.
Here's some more on the Independence Institute
, which is sponsoring the contest. This comes from the thinkprogress.org
A tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, the anti-government group has an annual revenue of about $2 to 3 million. Though they are not required to disclose their donors, public records show much of their money comes from several of the most infamous donors to the nation’s right wing and climate science denial movements.
A ThinkProgress review of the Independence Institute’s funders (according to data provided by Conservative Transparency, Guidestar, and CitizenAudit) revealed that since 2001, its funders included at least:
• $146,000 combined from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, a pair of tax-exempt foundations controlled by petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation and the Center to Protect Patient Rights, entities closely tied to the brothers.
• $2,565,766 combined from DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, two affiliated donor-advised funds that funnel donations from supporters to non-governmental organizations that promote limited government and free enterprise. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, the Koch brothers and “other ultra-wealthy industrial ideologues appear to be cloaking an untold amount of their donations to conservative political outlets” by using these funds as pass-throughs. A 2015 investigation by the Guardian revealed that the two secretive organizations had directed roughly $125 million over three years to spread disinformation about climate science and fight President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
Some who truly care about the environment feel that the era of fossil fuels is drawing to a close, not withstanding President Trump's embrace of coal.