Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Alternative Energies

There have been mixed signals lately on alternative energy sources. An article came out not too long ago stating that the government is increasing federal spending by 22% in order to develop alternative energies. However, at the same time dozens of staffers and contractors in the US are being laid off. President Bush even acknowledge the confusion and claimed he would set things right and re-hire a good portion of the employees that were laid off.

This comes right at a time when a new national public opinion survey clearly demonstrates that the public is in support of the United States for government policies and investments that will support development of alternative energy sources. Nearly all voters (98%) says the costs would be worth it to get the US to reach a national goal of having 25% of the domestic energy needs met by alternative energy by 2025.

I feel that since the majority of the public feels that something needs to be done, no matter if they have to spend more money, in order to find alternative resources, the US government must make a larger financial commitment to this. But as a realist, I don’t believe that oil will be left of out the energy equation really anytime soon. In addition, by finding alternative fuels, this is not only going to be costly but it may also pose conflicts of interests between governments and oil companies. This is why the move to different energy sources will probably be slow. I think
the government just needs to get the "wheels in motion" so to say.

There is also a part of me that thinks that the government really could care less that gas prices are rising, because they don’t pay for it, the taxpayers do. Most of them drive and fly around the nation because to them it’s free. Also, I think for starters there needs to be more marketing on these alternative energy sources. How many ads to you see for solar power heated homes or even the new hybrid cars? One reason why the renewable and alternative energy markets are not growing as fast it seems is because citizens still do not hear the message of savings and independence from oil. Educating and selling these products will be vital when making the transition to the next energy sources.

Thus, I see how the transition may be slow but I feel that the government is really doing little to start the transition away from oil, especially since poll after poll show the public ready and willing to spend the extra bucks in order to depend on a better future.

1 comment:

Larry Eubanks said...

Do you see any sources of market failure that are relevant to the development of alternative sources of energy?