Americans Have More Pragmatic Views on Energy Policy Than Their Leaders Do

One frustration that I have always had with both the Republican and Democratic energy policies is that neither solves America’s energy problems. On the one hand, the Democratic strategy would result in the nation’s economic collapse in twenty years or so. On the other hand, the Republican strategy would push this collapse out about a decade relative to the Democratic strategy. Either way, America is screwed.

The Democratic plan would result in America running out of cash before it has time to develop fossil-fuel alternatives. Without increased domestic drilling, persistently high oil prices would drain many of the dollars the country could invest in alternative fuels development.

The Republican plan would allow the economy to function for a little longer because more domestic drilling would likely keep petroleum prices lower than the Democratic plan would. However, a dearth in development dollars would leave the country in the lurch once global oil supplies ultimately dwindled.

The obvious solution is to have a mixture of both. The Republican plan would serve as a bridge to the Democratic plan. That way, the country could ideally make a smooth transition from a fossil-fuel economy to a green one.

It turns out that Americans agree with this solution. According to Gallup, more than three-quarters of Americans support increased government financial incentives to produce energy from alternative sources. Two in three Americans also think the government should support or increase energy production from oil and natural gas.

Sounds like a plan to me.

About Sean Patrick Hazlett

Finance executive, engineer, former military officer, and science fiction and horror writer. Editor of the Weird World War III anthology.
This entry was posted in Business, Clean Energy, Clean Tech, Energy Security, Policy, Politics, Solar, Wind and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Americans Have More Pragmatic Views on Energy Policy Than Their Leaders Do

  1. Scott Erb says:

    We’re discussing this in my world politics course now. I’ve altered the entire course to include a section looking at geopolitics and energy, getting into politics in the Caspian, Russia, China’s quest for resources, etc. Part of it is looking at oil and alternatives and it becomes clear that old thinking (which the Democrats and Republicans seem to embrace) isn’t going to work. To avoid a global economic catastrophe we need to expand oil supplies while we quickly pursue a variety of alternatives. Unless we make unexpected discoveries of new oils, there isn’t enough in Alaska or off shore to last that long (especially in a world of increasing demand). But it may buy time to make the transition.

    I live in Maine where we use primarily heating oil. Next week I’ve got people coming over to see about installing geothermal. It would require deepening our well and retrofitting our baseboard heating system to a forced air system. That means even after tax credits we’re looking at the potential of spending $25,000. But if heating oil gets expensive enough, it wouldn’t take long to pay that back.

  2. Sean,

    Love your posts. You draw great comments too. I stumbled across your blog looking for somebody in the GOP with a positive view of energy efficiency, renewables, clean energy, etc. Wall Street is buying into it, other countries (besides Germany) and others. But other than Bloomberg, who else is there high-profile?

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