Energy shortfalls and inadequacies cannot be addressed without realizing that the exponential demand for electricity was brought on by population growth, the leaps and bounds of information technology revolution, and the proliferation of the computer industry, the telecommunications industry and other electronic devices. Clearly, government and the energy industry were acutely aware of it, but they did little to nothing about it until it became a crisis.

Management by crisis is not an option, nor is it acceptable. It's time to use the information and communications technology revolution to resolve our energy problems. And it's time for the people to play a major role in deciding energy policy with electronic democracy.

Indeed, California's energy crisis cannot be resolved unless fully informed residential and business consumers participate in the resolution process. Other than a call for energy conservation, the public has not been invited to participate in any significant way.

If such a process takes place it cannot be adequately validated until the people are truthfully informed, instead of being fed fragmented and biased information at best, and near chaos at worst. All consumers really know is that electric power providers and taxpayers are in billions of dollars of inexusable debt, that consumers have been economically hammered, and that most of the State's surplus has been dumped into the energy money pit. So, how do we get the truth?

Thus far, we know that there are five elements to resolving the energy crisis: California state government, the energy industry, the federal government, alternative energy advocates and consumers. Each element seems to stand firm on their views about the problem, but consumers are sorely lacking an independent analysis of what caused it and how to fix it.

Therefore, serious consideration should be given to forming a truly "independent" advisory group or commission consisting of at least two experts from each element who have no conflicts or "axes to grind." They must, however, have extensive knowledge and experience in their fields and they must be committed to resolving the crisis for the long term.

Clearly, a sound solution to the energy crisis cannot be reached without an educated consensus vote of the people (consumers). Consumer education, participation and the voting process could be accomplished in the form of a ballot initiative, a secure vote over the Internet, or a combined voting process.

Recently, a proposal was been made to Governor Davis' Technology Office by John Suhr of The Electric City Society. The proposal consists of assisting government to resolve the energy crisis by attracting groups and individuals to participate over the Internet resulting in a majority vote of the people using secure voting technology. Vivarto Technologies and Safevote Inc. have expressed interest in the proposal. Vivarto has established The Speakout Opinion Making Forum on How to solve the California Energy Crisis at

Over 75 percent of Californians regard the energy crisis as serious, and most people are not satisfied with the way government is handling the crisis. Indeed, if government fails to involve the people in this critical issue, those who play the political posturing game will certainly be the losers in future elections. Simply put, voters make short work of those who betray them, and consumers have long memories about those who rip them off.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center

Energy Independence for America
By Tom McClintock, California candidate for Congress
August 21, 2008

Americans are finally awakening to the damage that the Luddite Left has done to our country, our economy and our lives by the governmental moratoriums and restrictions on energy development that liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Brown obstinately cling to.

According to the Bureau of Land Management, there are 38 billion barrels of oil under American soil (19 billion barrels onshore and another 19 billion offshore - that we KNOW is there) that Congress forbids developing. But that's just the beginning of known American oil reserves. The Rand Institute reports that the Green River shale formation (covering portions of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming) holds a proven recoverable reserve of roughly 800 billion barrels of oil - that's three times the petroleum reserves of Saudi Arabia. And yet, an American Congress forbids us from developing this American oil and declaring our energy independence.

Put together, there is enough American oil under American land to provide for American needs for the next century at current rates of consumption.

And this doesn't include additional fields that are yet to be discovered. Brazil opened its offshore waters to oil exploration, and in January a new discovery increased its known reserves by 40 percent. But in America, it's illegal even to look for oil on 97 percent of our offshore land and 94 percent of our on-shore land.