With growing international competition fueling the push to expand domestic drilling this election cycle, the future of the nation’s energy supply and sources are dominant issues. With no one giving up electronic devices, you would think that increasing the nation’s options to meet the increasing needs would be on the table.
They are not.
The 2012 Presidential race has seen several conversations on the need to reduce imports and the reliance on them to keep America’s cars running but little, if any, talk of alternatives to coal and gas to keep the lights on.
The bankruptcy of the solar power company Solyndra is a stain on the Obama Administration’s energy policy. The $90 billion from the stimulus package meant for the clean energy projects is long gone. Due in no small part to the efforts of the traditional fuel companies to see that the status quo was maintained there is nothing to show for it.
The Republicans uproar over the mismanaged solar energy company should not be a reason to cut off solar all together. Instead, the administration, which had suspended drilling in the gulf after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, is expanding drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Romney’s campaign takes the stance that emission restricting policies actually hurt America in the global economy. That they are too expensive when compared to existing sources and that, if other countries aren’t doing it, then why should America?
Because if the United States is the leader that it claims to be it needs to set the standard? China, Japan, South Korea have all made moves to majorly restrict their emission as well as invest more in to environmentally friendly energy technologies.
Let’s look at this.
The majority of Americans see the environment and climate change as real issues in need of being addressed. Both candidates agree that climate change is a problem. Alternative energy solutions are not only good for the environment, they are good for America in the right now. Removing our dependence on fossil fuels also removes dependence to foreign powers that have a controlling say in the prices of these resources. So why is neither candidate bringing this up?
The switch from gas and oil to anything will be far from cheap, but long term savings to society comes in many forms. Health care for environmentally attributed illnesses and environmental clean up are not things that companies are concerned with unless the government makes them care. The cost of these things fall on citizens if industry does not act responsibly (and when was the last time business acted responsibly?) The government is tasked with making sure that the private sector acts appropriately.
And what about the view from the private sector? The push to move to cars was a national effort in the first place starting with the New Deal to the Federal Aid Highway Act. It was implemented during the Great Depression to put people to work and ended up generating capital for hundreds of businesses and provided jobs from millions. Car companies didn’t build all of those roads. Why can’t that happen with clean energy?
Continued in Fracking 2012 elections in the Keystone State: Presidential Race Part 2