An Energetic New Deal For A New Millennium

by Luigi Kapaj

Our society has been dependent on fossil fuels for well over a century. This is a finite resource. It is one where we are not self sufficient on. Rather, we must give our wealth to countries and peoples that are largely unstable and utilize the money we send to the detriment of our society. Our attempts to become independent in the production of oil threaten some of our most precious environments. This is a problem that has perpetuated itself for far too long without government intervention.

This is the single largest problem faced by our country today. Many other problems of grave concern to Americans are directly related to this problem. The terrorists that threaten our security are backed by wealthy supporters whom have built their fortunes on the money we spend on oil. The civil liberties, which are being systematically infringed upon, are done so under the pretense of security against these terrorists supported by our fixation with oil. Use of this oil deteriorates our environment through car exhaust, regular accidents in shipment, and the steady stream of waste supplied by plastic wrappers. The cost of oil rises and gives rise to financial difficulties of the average citizen dependant on its use for mobility. Corporate giants in the oil industry use their deep pockets to hold sway over all levels of government right up to the President of these United States. There is no single issue facing this nation that is so far reaching into all aspects of our society as the use of oil.

There must be an alternative. We can immediately take steps to alleviate this problem on multiple levels. There is technology available to us now that can reduce our dependence on oil but it is not yet foreseeable that it can eliminate the problem entirely. We have the intellectual capital as well as the industrial muscle to build new technologies to enact a solution to this problem. It took us ten years to reach the Moon. With good leadership and a commitment to back the rhetoric, anything is possible for this country.

A viable solution would need to be directed by the government. The first step is to break the monopoly oil companies have over consumer energy use. Laws must be made and enforced that forbid any company that deals in oil to hold a patent on any alternative energy resource. The temptation to suppress a renewable energy resource in order to maintain a profitable dependence on a product they supply is too great and must be eliminated while still allowing these companies to survive.

Grants and loans must be made available in large amounts for companies developing alternatives to oil use. As new technologies competing against established business frameworks will be at a disadvantage, government financing is necessary to spark the growth of a new industry and keep consumer prices reasonable in its early stages.

New forms of energy must be introduced into society unilaterally. To sell an electric car and have no way for the consumer to charge the batteries would be ineffective at becoming an alternative to a gas powered car. Points of distribution, in this example the gas stations, must be legally required to supply consumers with a choice of energy sources available, not just oil based products. If replenishing the batteries were to be as easy as filling a gas tank, then an electric car would become a true alternative.

When new sources of energy become both widely available and affordable, then it is reasonable to expect that people will make use of them. As new energies gain wider acceptance, they then become profitable and their use will be perpetuated by market forces that will eliminate the need for government funding. The government can then retire to a more traditional role of regulation while focusing its resources on funding scientific research to improve energy technologies of the future.

© 2002, by Luigi Kapaj
Plagiarizers will be brutally tortured!
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last updated on December 18, 2002

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