Madison station covers peak oil

Monday, January 29, 2007

Madison television station WKOW (Channel 27) ran a story on peak oil, including an interview with Ed Blume.

The following text is posted on WKOW's Web site along with a link to the video:

Preparing for Peak Oil

A Madison resident recently dropped off a report to the mayor and county executive's offices, warning of a looming energy crisis.

Recent publicity about the document is helping spark a conversation among environmentalists here.

Jan Sweet put the report together. He calls himself part of the Downtown Isthmus Group.

Sweet wants either mayor Dave Cieslewicz or county executive Kathleen Falk to form a peak oil task force. His suggestions include everything from having the city stock up on gasoline and penalizing people who drive cars on the isthmus, to planting fruit trees all over the city in case of possible food shortages.

"I would be foolish if I expected every recommendation to be included in the final report, but we're hoping this will begin the dialog," said Sweet.

In that spirit of dialog, we contacted a spokesperson for the energy awareness group RENEW Wisconsin. Ed Blume told us that while Sweet is bringing awareness to a predicted shortage in oil supplies, RENEW Wisconsin believes the focus should be on developing more renewable energy.

Blume also said Sweet is one of the people who attends a monthly meeting in Madison in which concerned citizens and groups discuss environmental issues.

So far, there's been no movement from officials on Sweet's recommendations. A spokesperson for Cieslewicz said the mayor hasn't looked hard at the document, though ideas like capping building heights at five stories would contradict the mayor's push for dense development. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Falk said the county executive initially thought the recommendations were tongue in cheek.