It's easy to see inaction. In the
But things are changing, incrementally.
In subway cars in
America has been drunk on fossil fuels for decades.
At various points, politicians have intervened, only to walk away defeated. In 2008, gas prices soared, the economy tanked, and another wave of panic emerged. In 2009, President Obama came into power with energy and climate issues among his priorities. He has vowed not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
The stimulus package is putting
These are pieces. They are starts. They are the beginning of something. But they are certainly not enough. The emerging metaphor in the energy world is that of a race, like the space race or the atomic race. Now there is an energy race.
Running a race requires a strategy. The U.S. strategy is something of an ill-defined mess. If dirty fuel is an addiction and clean energy a pathway to recovery, the country is still at a stage somewhere after recognition. It's trying to develop a plan for quitting, but it wants to minimize the pain that will come in the process, and it's having trouble thinking long term. Legislation to curb greenhouse gases is stalled in
Any strategy has to be concerned with money: how to fund new projects and how to make clean energy profitable. And the recession has hit not just government money but also private investors. Back in the day, much of it came from the banks; many of those banks no longer exist. Much of the rest came from venture capital, from the cowboys of
In the absence of a national strategy,
Leading the way. But these numbers tell only part of the story. In 2008,
Some buyers have already stepped aside.
Before he walked away, Pickens was advocating the "Pickens plan," a broad strategy to promote wind for electricity and natural gas for fuel. The contents of the plan might have been questionable, but it was still a plan, something broad and coherent and far-reaching. Everyone is still waiting for a plan from
In the nation's capital, all eyes are on the
Whatever the outcome in
But none of this is a strategy yet.
It is a hodgepodge, a smattering. It is action in a vacuum. And the addiction continues.
Available at Amazon.com:
- Time to Act on a Bleak Fiscal Future
- Most Americans Getting Whacked by High Energy Costs
- Energy Race: United States Needs Coherent Clean Energy Strategy
- Reality Check: Energy Powers That Be
- Jolt for Energy Innovation: Government Investing
- Source of Sunny Optimism: Obama Touting Solar Power Potential
- Side by Side in Need for Green Growth: China and America try cooperation
- National Power Grid That Thinks
- Home Sales Flat Before Spring Buying Season
- America's Most Underwater Housing Markets
- The Google Syndrome: China's Corporate Woes
- Companies Learning How to Capture Power of the Oceans and Seas
- Consumers who go green may qualify for federal credits and deductions
- Many clean energy stimulus projects have yet to get off ground
- Return of the Three-Generation Household
Energy Race: United States Needs Coherent Clean Energy Strategy | Kent Garber
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