Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Renewable energy and the election

I haven't found any sources discussing the election and what the results mean for renewable energy. This is a tricky one, because although renewable energy policy can be aggressive under either party (Democrat Governor Rendell in PA or Republican Governor Schwarzenegger in CA for examples), I firmly believe this is a bipartisan issue.

To avoid the severest of global warming consequences, scientists tell us we have about 10 years to make aggressive changes to our energy policy and how we do business. This includes energy standards and other initiatives, where government sets the rules of the market and the businesses play the game. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have recognized global warming as a national security and economic threat, but they need to take action NOW.

Signs point to Congress enacting some sort of tax or fee or restriction on carbon dioxide in the near future, and with over 20 states already having renewable electricity standards, a federal goal for renewable energy should not be a foreign concept to many in Congress.

If we're serious about pulling out of Iraq (either immediately or with a more gradual timeline), then talking about energy policy in the same breath is a great opportunity. We need our energy use to be as efficient as possible, and wean ourselves off this absurd overdependence on fossil fuels and start harnessing our own renewable energy options. Government needs to set the rules for this burgeoning clean energy market (like making the Production Tax Credit for wind permanent, for Pete's sake) so capitalism can figure out how to get us toward our end goal a more efficient, clean, and secure energy system for the 21st century.

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