We must protect our environment from the harmful effects of pollution and pursue opportunities for alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, and nuclear power.
I do not believe that the government should “encourage” the use of new technology via the use of punitive taxes on older, less efficient technology or by forcing consumers to purchase vastly more expensive forms of energy. Instead, the free market should determine how and when these sources are brought to market, not the heavy hand of the government.
The clean energy sector could be a dynamic growth engine for our economy with the potential to create thousands of jobs. The growth of this industry will create a virtuous circle in which sustainable jobs are created, energy costs decline and our dependence on foreign energy sources diminished. The government can help facilitate such innovation via tax code changes, modified capital gains tax and increased investment tax credits.
However, we must continue to preserve our current supply of energy while we allow for these new technologies to emerge, mature and become commercialized. These alternative energy concepts are, however, not something that will solve our immediate energy needs or reduce the soaring gas prices. We are a nation that currently relies heavily on fossil fuels. Our immediate priority should be to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil when we have opportunities right here in the US to supplement it. The Keystone pipeline project would have created thousands of jobs and weaned us from foreign sources of oil.
In addition, we also must look at drilling off our coasts in safe and environmentally sounds manners, the use of shale exploration and to our other natural resources such as ANWR.