The Future of Energy: Policy, Technology & Cost


At this time, the direction the White House plans to make regarding hydraulic fracturing regulations has yet to be determined. Clearly, pressure is coming from environmentalists who want tighter regulations and, in some cases outright bans on the new technology. The problem facing the administration is the fact that the industry has proven itself a very bright spot for the President in terms of jobs creation and energy imports decreasing. Nonetheless, industry experts believe that pressure to keep hydraulic fracturing off of public lands and impose greater restrictions on companies now operating will most likely be addressed in any new energy policy.

Because the administration has tied an initiative of combating global warming to energy policy, the fact that energy prices will rise is a given. Green energy is expensive compared to fossil fuel and unless the cost of fossil fuel is raised, green energy initiatives and incentives to research alternative energy will lie dormant. Environmentalists put forth a valid argument when they say that the cost of adverse consequences experienced through the combustion of fossil fuels such as respiratory disease and ailments as well as land, air and water pollution have never been firmly fixed into the price of such fuels. This means that the real cost of a gallon of gasoline is actually far more than anyone realizes, because those costs are buried in the cost of healthcare, environmental destruction and other places. Only when a highly visible catastrophe occurs such as the recent Horizon BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, do we recognize the high cost that truly should be associated with the use of fossil fuel for our energy needs. For decades economists have argued that only through attaching the cost of these adverse by-products associated with fossil fuel to the actual price paid for fossil fuel, can we embark on serious exploration of more benign energy alternatives. So despite the criticism and potential cost of the Obama administrations energy plans, it might just be the medicine we need to not only steer ourselves into a cleaner brighter future, but also save our planet.

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Posted by on Apr 1st, 2013 and filed under Feature Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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