Third Way Perspectives
Archive for November, 2011
November 18th, 2011
This piece was originally posted on the Huffington Post.
Demand for energy resources in the rest of the world, and especially developing nations, is growing rapidly. Like Willie Sutton robbing banks because “that’s where the money is,” emerging economic powers like China and India are racing to secure the oil, coal, and natural gas they use because that’s where the economic growth is. But as this competition for limited fossil fuel resources heats up, the media and conservative politicians are increasingly questioning federal investments in clean energy. Using selective facts and a very narrow definition of national interest, they argue that public incentives for clean energy are a bad bet.
The criticisms of investing in clean energy ignore that our nation is on an unsustainable energy path and that for our economy, national security, public health and, yes, environmental interests, we must diversify our energy portfolio. Our nation’s energy infrastructure today is essentially reliant on coal, oil and natural gas — three natural resources that are in dramatically increasing demand around the world. This has nothing to do with peak oil. The world is racing headlong into a bidding war for energy. The only entity both able and empowered to halt the march is the federal government. Read the rest of this entry »