Today marks the one year anniversary of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. One year later, Americans have seen little progress: gas prices are higher than they were a year ago, foreign oil dependence has not decreased, and minimal efforts have been made to promote clean, sustainable energy solutions.
The goals of a responsible energy policy are simple. America must reduce its oil consumption, increase its clean energy production, set goals for tackling climate change, and take steps to promote cleaner energy in the third world. Although the Energy Policy Act begins to move in the right direction in a few areas, a lack of sufficiently innovative provisions, insufficient implementation and continued taxpayer giveaways to the fossil fuel industries has trapped the United States into an energy crisis.
In multiple reports, the Center for American Progress has urged the federal government to unite with citizens, business, and environmental groups to reshape the energy landscape in order to create a stronger economy, a safer world, and a cleaner environment. Four broad goals can and should be the cornerstones of America’s energy future:
1. Dramatically reducing oil consumption by the transportation sector, which accounts for about two-thirds of the oil Americans use.
2. Enhancing domestic energy supplies by making more significant investments in clean, renewable energy sources such as biomass, wind, geothermal, and solar energy.
3. Better utilizing current energy sources by adopting efficient technologies, modernizing the energy grid, and promoting energy research in order to reduce costs for consumers and business.
4. Reasserting American leadership on climate change by teaming up with allies like Great Britain to limit emissions and provide incentives to developing countries to join the effort.
At the one year anniversary of the Energy Policy Act, the federal government must renew its promise to find clean, sustainable energy solutions and take new, bold steps towards innovation.
View chart of gas prices over past year:
For more in depth policy suggestions, see: