Energy Reform Ideas

It's pretty obvious that we need to reduce our dependency on imported fossil fuels and figure out a way to have a supply of safe, clean, and affordable energy. Not only would it be a good environmental idea to switch away from oil dependency, but also a pretty good economic decision. And, probably a decent defensive foreign policy move.

So, I would suggest that the United States Government allocate some funds to this effort. The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is apparently using its growing budget to shift its focus back to long-term, high-risk projects. DARPA was established in 1958 after the Soviet Union launched the Sputnik spacecraft and now has an annual R&D budget of nearly $3 billion.

Why not allocate some (or a large part) of that to energy independence? Funds could:
  1. Build a hydrogen eco-system: Support the development of affordable fuel cells and finance the build-out of infrastructure for production, delivery, & storage. Incentivise the auto industry and support our largest industry.
  2. Adopt safe nuclear power: License a nuclear power plant and continue to develop safe & effective ways to store spent fuel. This has been used elsewhere successfully and it's only gotten safer.
  3. Develop cleaner coal infrastructure: Clean up our most common fossil fuel and figure out how to reduce emissions & waste.
  4. Invest in ethanol: Certain emerging markets have leaped ahead of us in this category and funds could accelerate our investment in research, infrastructure, production, delivery, & storage of this very viable alternative-energy option.
  5. Educate: Create campaigns and tax incentives to get consumers & the private sector to adopt more energy conservant policies such as green architecture, transportation alternatives, recycling, etc, etc.
I, personally, think that these efforts could yield far better results over the long term for our economy, growth, defense, safety, & health than other "Star Wars" like projects that might be in the making.
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