The U.S. Senate is debating an energy bill. If your morning paper is as uninforming as mine is, you probably found little or nothing about it.
U.S. energy policy is one of the most important issues affecting Americans. Some would argue that it is the single most important issue affecting our bloated, consumptive way of life. Regardless of one’s political persuasion, it behooves all of us to learn about some of the issues and pay attention to the debate.
The current bill, at over 1,000 pages, touches almost every corner of life in our country. Unfortunately, much of past policy has resulted in $500 billion in subsidies given to old paradigm energy industries such as coal, fossil fuels and nuclear. Contrast that with only $25 billion subsidizing renewable and alternative energy options.
Unbelievably, this morning, one segment on C-Span’s Morning Journal had a rehashing of the debate of whether nuclear energy is an option. With a spokesperson from the Nuclear Energy Institute obfuscating the issues brought by Navin Nayak of the Public Interest Research Group, I was just shaking my head that arguments refuted 25 years ago about the viability of nuclear energy, are still being debated.
Ultimately, regardless of one’s stand and orientation on energy, our current consumption of energy and reduction of demand must be a prime pillars in the debate if we ever are able to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. If we want to bring our troops home from Iraq, we can’t be driving SUV’s and other gluttonous consumers of petroleum.