This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

An island without oil

The massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, now the worst in U.S. history, has refocused the nation’s attention on our addiction to carbon-based fuels. Congress has attempted to pass a comprehensive energy plan that would encourage the adoption of green technology, but little progress has been made.

Perhaps the island of Samso, population 4,000, could provide inspiration. The Danish island won a national contest in 1998 with an audacious bid to switch completely to renewable energy. And in just ten years, Samso achieved its goal. Residents now use wind, sun and even rapeseed oil to power their cars and homes.

John Larson traveled to Samso to find out how they succeeded, and how the U.S. might follow their lead.

  • Differing views on fracking's impact
    Studies conducted on the counties above the Marcellus and Barnett Shale for example — where extensive drilling has already taken place — present mixed economic results.
  • thumb
    Too much solar energy?
    The proliferation of privately owned solar has large power companies in Germany worried.
  • thumb
    Nominee has industry ties
    Energy secretary nominee had deep connections to industry, including as a paid adviser to BP until 2011.