Energy Independence and Reducing Carbon Emissions
Our energy policy should focus on achieving energy independence while meeting our needs in an environmentally sound way. There has been a lot of opposition to green energy and to the EPA and its mission of protecting the environment. Much of this opposition, and phony scientific studies, come from oil and coal interests that want to see our nation remain dependent upon their products. I disagree with climate change deniers and believe addressing this problem will not only help our environment, but also our economy. I believe we need to mitigate the damage of fossil fuels while also making the investments necessary to transition away from them. One of our starting points should be making sure we get a working smart grid across the United States. I am willing to look at many different options when it comes to increasing research, development, and adoption of new energy technologies.
We must work towards the future, but not ignore our current situation. Fossil fuels, including oil and coal, are not going to disappear overnight, so we must do our best to mitigate the harm. We must raise and enforce emission standards, as well as increase research and implementation of technology such as scrubbers and carbon capture and sequestration. Natural gas is a cleaner option, although fracking is a very invasive and harmful way to extract it. I believe hydraulic fracking and mountain-top removal mining (MTR) should be curtailed. So-called clean energy is only clean if the way it is extracted is responsible and sustainable.
Other things we can do to reduce carbon emissions include retrofitting buildings, using green building materials, and promoting new technology like hydrogen. I believe we also must encourage more hybrid vehicles to be manufactured and sold, and increase education, both in schools and to the general public, about the dangers of climate change and carbon emissions.
These are some of ideas to achieve energy independence and reduce emissions, but our success will depend upon the willingness to move away from fossil fuels into green energy. I support a national program to build a smart grid and encourage utility companies to use more renewables in their energy portfolios.
These ideas will lead us towards energy independence, increased manufacturing opportunities in America, green jobs, and a cleaner environment for ourselves, our children, and generations to come.