Fossil Fuels, Alternatives, and Politics in 2012

The Nation’s energy supply is of vital consequence to both national security and economic interests. Energy is the lifeblood of any economy and so a nation’s ability to deal with energy issues plays a big role in its ability to sustain and grow an economy. Because of its crucial role in national security and the economy, energy policy is a major political issue in every election.

The United States has historically benefited from a diverse source of both domestic and international fossil fuels. But with international tensions, threats of war, limited supplies and environmental threats there are pressures to diversify into cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy such as solar and wind. The problem is that solar and wind are not as reliable or “on the ready” as fossil fuels and so provide additional challenges for an “always on” society.

The following graphic sent to us by the website Best MPH Programs offers a thorough look at the various political issues surrounding energy and the positions that each candidate takes.

Fossil Fuels, Alternatives, and Politics in 2012

A worthwhile question to ask in any discussion about energy policy is whether “green” is actually a viable economic option. There have been some serious questions raised about whether green is really all it’s cracked up to be. The truth is that a solid energy plan is going to be held accountable to reality, and not waste billions on dead end projects like ethanol from corn.

Based on my own research, I’d suggest that the way forward is to go all-electric and get off most fossil fuels. Build an electric grid that expects to power everything from chainsaws to cars to lawnmowers. Then massively subsidize the buy-side of the solar industry (bring prices down for the consumers) and let the market work out the best, most plug and play technology.

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