By Keith Fitz-Gerald
Money Morning/The Money Map Report
As much as I poke fun at my home state of Oregon (with its decidedly liberal tendencies), it's a phenomenal place to live.
Not only are the people spectacular, so is their attitude.
There's a real "make-a-difference" philosophy at work out here that manifests itself in everything from our laws to our personal behavior. This philosophy fosters a "can-do" attitude that makes us believe that we can do almost anything - and that includes fighting back against the super-high energy prices that U.S. consumers are struggling with right now.
That's why my wife and I are really excited to take on a personal challenge, of sorts.
Over the next 12 months, we're going to try to shave 25% off our total energy and resources bills. This means that we're going to make our house more efficient - and do the same with our cars.
But here's the catch.
We're going to try and achieve this goal with existing technology and, hopefully, without breaking the bank. That's not because we aren't seeking the maximum possible savings (we are); instead it's because we believe we can do better with what we have, and through conservation.
Besides, we want to set an example - and create an energy-saving road map - that anyone can follow. We want to demonstrate that you don't have to spend big bucks to buy the latest gadgets or invest in "bleeding-edge" conservation technologies. Common sense and careful, shrewd energy management can generate major savings in both expenses, and in energy.
This is something that our federal government just doesn't seem to understand.
Not only did our federal government sponsor a trillion-dollar energy "pork fest" - with incentives to find, mine, drill or tap into more energy - it also mandated all sorts of things along the way. These initiatives are certain to encourage Big Business. But I believe the government would have seen much better results had simply encouraged both consumers and corporations alike to focus on energy conservation.
Story continues below...
It gets worse. Now the government has an agriculture bill headed down the pipeline; the legislation looks promising, but by the time it gets through Congress it figures to have gotten so watered down that it will be virtually worthless.
Don't get me wrong: I'm all for developing new, more efficient technology. Indeed, it's necessary. But it's also a long-term process, and one that's very costly.
We should pursue that path, of course. But there's another strategy that we should pursue in the meantime - conservation.
So it's time to do our part.
Over the next 12 months, I'll report on my family's progress, the decisions we're making and the technologies we're using (as I said, we support technology-driven energy savings). And we'd like to hear about your efforts, too - assuming you, too, are interested in saving money and conservation like we are.
Hopefully, we'll find methods and materials that we can all use. We'll definitely let you know.
[Editor's Note: Money Morning Investment Director Keith Fitz-Gerald will report back periodically on his domestic-energy conservation efforts.]
About the Author
Keith is a seasoned market analyst and professional trader with more than 37 years of global experience. He is one of very few experts to correctly see both the dot.bomb crisis and the ongoing financial crisis coming ahead of time - and one of even fewer to help millions of investors around the world successfully navigate them both. Forbes hailed him as a "Market Visionary." He is a regular on FOX Business News and Yahoo! Finance, and his observations have been featured in Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, WIRED, and MarketWatch. Keith previously led The Money Map Report, Money Map's flagship newsletter, as Chief Investment Strategist, from 20007 to 2020. Keith holds a BS in management and finance from Skidmore College and an MS in international finance (with a focus on Japanese business science) from Chaminade University. He regularly travels the world in search of investment opportunities others don't yet see or understand.