In response to this post on the many varied reactions to Gore’s energy speech, Behind the Plug (the coal industry blog for which we have strong language) contacted me regarding questions for Gore on “Meet the Press.” The impetus: Coming from very distant sides of political and editorial spheres, could we find some common ground to collaborate on a question for Gore?

As Behind the Plug says in its post, “We all breathe the same air and we all have an interest in America’s energy future.” Thus, based on the blogosphere roundups and reader comments — and without feigning scientific expertise — the joint question that both of us would like to see answered:

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  • How did you come up with the year 2018 as a hard-cap goal for total renewable electricity generation? Is that goal scientifically based? What research did you use?

In addition, I have these to add:

  • What practical measures will we take to get to zero emission electricity in 10 years? Let’s say Congress passes a resolution to aim for carbon-neutral electricity in 10 years, what would be the next step?
  • Is there room in your plan for private investment? Or, would the installation of a modern electric grid become a completely public undertaking?

And, the pressing concerns at Behind the Plug:

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  • Renewables are great — we should increase their use. But they don’t provide baseload power — that is, we need electricity 24-hours per day, not just during the hours when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. How would you address baseload power concerns?
  • How do you balance your environmental goals with the current economic climate in which Americans cannot afford increases in electricity prices?

The Grist readership will indubitably be able to provide feedback to these queries; but this diametrically-opposed collaboration provides a unique opportunity to share those thoughts with the folks at Behind the Plug.