Energy technology leads US into future
Alternative energy is set to dominate the next global economy. All economists view technology as crucial for growth, and a necessity that must be accounted for.
On June 26th, The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey climate energy change bill. Although its passing in the House was a monumental achievement, it still has to pass in the Senate.
Both Republicans and Democrats have attacked the bill. On the right, conservatives label the bill as a pure tax on energy and also an American job killer. Some Republicans even dismiss climate change as a cause for concern.
On the left, some argue the bill is too weak, allowing for little improvement. Opposition also comes from Democrats about the cost of the bill and the taxation it will bring to companies along with costs of production. Others were hesitant to support the bill because they are more concerned with being reelected.
As always, it appears that politics are swaying the argument away from the actual purpose. The discussion of global warming, climate changes and the need for alternative energy is pressing and serious.
Some have decided to try to kill the bill by emphasizing the costs, the number of job losses and constantly labeling it as a tax. However, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that by 2020, annual costs would only increase by $175 per American household. This is roughly what it costs to fill up any SUV two or three times.
Even more concerning is the talk of job loss, which some believe to be imminent and severe if a climate change bill passes. If we do not start moving toward cleaner energy and alternative energy technology, not only will we lose jobs by not creating them, but we will also lose the technology race. This will cause further setbacks and greater dependence on foreign nations in the next generation.
As Americans, we should hold our politicians accountable for working toward our best interests. Our best interests includes technological progression. It is possible to achieve a cap-and-trade system that sufficiently reduces carbon emissions without poisoning businesses. If it wasn’t, companies like Ford Motor Co. and Dow Chemical Co. would not be behind the bill.
More importantly, realizing the significance of alternative energy and climate changes will lead us to solving our other various problems, both economically and socially.
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter gave a speech warning Americans that until we solved our country’s civic problems of waste, greed, consumerism and irresponsibility, we would not be able to properly attack our crisis concerning energy.
We haven’t yet solved said problems. In fact, this is more relevant today than it was in 1979. Until we unite together as Americans to solve the energy crisis and invest in our future, we will not be able to solve other fundamental problems like healthcare.
Andrew Taylor is an economics junior and may be reached at [email protected]