February 27, 2017 Read More →

Op-Ed: America First, by Way of Renewables

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Trump campaigned on an America First energy agenda that aims to make the United States energy independent by increasing domestic production of fossil fuels. But this strategy will actually weaken the long-term national security of the United States.

If the president wants to project economic and military strength globally, he should first ensure that we have enough energy to power our economy and military, and the only way to do that is to promote renewable energy, now and aggressively.

Continuing or accelerating our dependence on oil will only increase the power that other nations have over us. The president’s energy plan will embolden oil-producing nations, ironically the very nations against which he is so vociferously trying to defend us, most notably these three OPEC producers – Iraq, Libya, and Iran.

An America First energy strategy to strengthen national security would move the economy toward sources of energy whose prices we can control and that will be perpetually available. Oil, coal, and natural gas fail this simple litmus test.

The solution is unambiguous: renewable energy. Luckily, we have more than enough solar, wind, water, and other renewable resources to make the change. The devil is in the details with any endeavor this large, but we can identify a few general policy areas that need attention to achieve a robust energy agenda:

Solar, wind, and water all produce electricity, so we must begin to switch our transportation system and other oil-consuming infrastructure to electricity. We need more electricity production – more solar panels and wind turbines – and the electric grid must be upgraded to handle intermittent electricity production from renewables, which the National Renewable Energy Laboratory has indicated is quite doable for roughly 80 percent of the grid. Trump has talked about infrastructure spending, and modernizing our grid infrastructure is an obvious candidate.

Commentary: Develop ‘renewables first’ energy strategy

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