Work To Solve Energy Crisis
"As president, I'll work to solve this energy crisis once and for all."-- Indianapolis
By ALINA SELYUKH
Speaking at the Energy and Environment panel of the Georgetown Public Policy Institute conference, Julie Falkner, senior policy adviser for The Nature Conservancy, warned the government against merely "throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what's going to stick" as it grapples with the issues of energy independence and climate change.
"You can't just focus on a piece of this," Falkner said. "It's a systematic issue that has to be looked at in a coherent manner. Now what you see is bits and pieces starting to pan out."
Some of the possible solutions to America's energy woes, as outlined earlier by Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, were discussed by the panelists: adopting energy-efficient technologies, switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy and calling upon citizens as well as national leaders to make responsible energy decisions.
Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute noted that half of U.S. energy production is still rooted in coal. Ebell argued that until more technological breakthroughs take place, "we’re a long ways away" from a complete conversion to renewable energy.
Erich Pica, domestic program director of Friends of the Earth, spotlighted the stimulus package's large investments in energy and transportation efficiency, but pointed out that a global initiative may be required. On the other side of the spectrum, states should start participating in the energy conversation as well, Falkner said.
FEBRUARY 17, 2009
Obama Signs Stimulus Bill
The final stimulus bill [PDF] signed by President Obama includes provisions to fund energy programs ($50 billion) and provide tax incentives ($20 billion) for renewable energy and energy efficiency. The program funding includes $5 billion to weatherize modest-income homes; $11 billion for the "smart electricity grid"; $6 billion to subsidize loans for renewable energy projects; and more than $8 billion in grants for energy efficiency, renewable energy and advanced batteries for electric vehicles. Tax incentives are included for those who produce renewable energy or make their homes energy efficient.
The stimulus also includes $400,000 to aid ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Authority for Energy. ARPA-E is a collaboration between the Department of Energy, the private sector and research institutions to foster development of breakthrough technologies such as batteries for hybrid vehicles, advanced biofuels and cheaper, more powerful solar panels.
FEBRUARY 11, 2009
Stimulus Bill Addresses Energy Needs
In the compromise Senate-House conference version of the stimulus bill, approximately $50 billion is allocated to fund energy programs, including weatherizing homes, increasing energy-efficiency of federal buildings, cleaning nuclear weapons production sites, creating the "smart electricity grid" to reduce waste, loans for renewable energy projects and grants for energy efficiency and clean energy.