US Energy Policy: Opinion

April 15, 2012
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Constant articles pop up in the paper every single day talking about new “clean” energy discoveries, windmills, hydraulic fracturing, and water power. But is the United States actually doing a good job balancing new energy ideas and budget? Well I think no. The Federal Department of Energy states that “the United States receives 84% of its energy from fossil fuels.” The rest (16%) of the energy comes from “nuclear and hydro stations.” But what about wind power? What about solar? Those types of green energy do not even show up as a small half a percent in the large scheme of things.

One good thing that America has done is convert a small percentage (18%) of all gas into ethanol. Ethanol is a corn by-product, and helps decrease the use of fossil fuels. The Biofuels Security Act proposed in 2006 would cause all cars that only run on gasoline to stop being produced in the year 2016. If the bill will be passed it will also force gas companies to have the option of an 85% ethanol fuel, and a 50% ethanol fuel, nothing lower. But why would the gas companies ever agree to this? It would make them loose money right? Wrong! The bill would also give gas companies a tax reduction. An increase from a 30% reduction to a 50% reduction, and that’s quite a lot.

President Obama though passed a bill in 2009 called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It gave more than 70 billion dollars which went directly to providing better and cleaner energy. This was the largest federal commitment in U.S. history for renewable energy, and advanced greener transportation. The groups which were involved in greener transportation received tax cuts too, which allowed them to convert to cleaner energy instead of fossil fuels.

One of the biggest advancements in the department of solar energy took place in 2011 with the SunShot Initiative. It planned to reduce the cost of solar energy by 75% by 2020. The main reason for this is that it would allow day to day people to have access to solar energy. If the United States makes the transition to cleaner energy it would allow less fossil fuels needed to be bought such as coal and oil. It was save our country a lot of money due to these new renewable sources of energy. So has America tried to stray from fossil fuels and turn to newer energy sources? Indeed they have.

But could they have done more?

Oh they most certainly could have.

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