My big beef with current energy policy is that it appears to
me that we spend gobs of money for oil and other fossil fuels - production,
war, research, mining, etc. but very little on research for renewable fuels
that would truly provide energy independence for the United States. We are
largely dependent on overseas imports for our oil needs. Combine that with
our reliance on foreign entities to finance our trade gap, that is a weak
economic position that only our guns and missiles can prop up. From my
perspective this is driven by lobbying from established energy companies
trying to preserve the status quo. They don't want to spend the money to do
R&D for renewable fuels, cleaner processes, etc. It is a lot easier to just
keep drilling & refining.
We don't need a host of prohibitions and regulations to mandate this change,
we can use a combination of emissions caps & market based incentives to
further our national interest. I figure if my tax dollars are going to go
somewhere, it should be for things like tax breaks for alternative fuel
research; subsidies for developing cleaner burning plants; incentives for
consumers to buy alternative products; figuring out if there are better ways
to deal with nuclear waste aside from digging a hole in Nevada and hoping it
doesn't leak. All that stuff CREATES jobs....
Alas, the current energy policy seems to be one of plunking a few drills
into Alaska and easing mining regulations for coal & natural gas - while
relying on "cap & trade" to govern emissions (the last one is particularly
disingenuous to me, because, even if it does work to some degree in the
aggregate, the cost is regionalized areas become particularly polluted).
Since the planet seems to be maxing out on production capacity, and we've
got no new reserves here in the U.S., I'm skeptical that we're embarking on
wise policy for our nation in the long run.