Think outside the box |

Think outside the box

The numbers may change but my point is the same.

The U.S. used around 4 trillion kilowatts of electricity last year from all sources.

We pay about 8 cents a kilowatt, or about $320 billion a year out of our pockets for our electric use.

Solar panels cost about 30 cents a kilowatt now. This takes into account daylight hours, summer/winter differences, and includes a 5 percent finance charge over the 20-year life of the panels. Four trillion kilowatts of generating capacity using solar photovoltaic panels could cost $1.2 trillion. Our defense budget is around $400 billion a year. The Bush drug plan is around $400 billion a year.

As you can see, we could easily pay for these solar panels in a few years if we reallocated our military spending and stopped throwing it away. Lives would be saved.

Of course, we still need oil, but electric cars would cut down on our gasoline needs. We still have hydro, wind, coal and nuke power as backup.

I believe the area of energy independence is where we should concentrate our efforts. This will help make the Bush/Cheney military-industrial complex obsolete and keep America “the home of the free.”

Brad Croul

Nevada City

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