The Green Dream

First let me say, I want to believe. I want to believe that the solution to all of our economic and energy problems lies with simply embracing a new ‘green’ economy and throwing off the shackles of some entrenched fossil fuel old guard. This would be great, this would be simple, but unfortunately this is just not the case.

While I do applaud the Obama administration for having noble intentions, its energy policy is not rooted in reality. This is not to say that the U.S. government should not be investing in new technologies or even supporting research for cleaner energies. But this has to be done within certain parameters that do not jeopardize American economic or national security.

First, on the economic side, there are the cases of the recent failures of many of the administration-supported clean energy projects, not just Solyndra. Newsweek recently ran a story chronicling these types of debacles in which the Obama administration, with the noblest of intentions, threw huge sums of money at projects that were not equipped to function. According to the piece, “It turned out that as so much money was being spent so quickly, a lot of state and local governments, as well as contractors, simply weren’t ready for the job at hand.” Moreover, according to the article, “So-called green-collar jobs are notoriously hard to tally, but numerous estimates … put the taxpayer cost of each green-energy job created by the stimulus at more than $1 million.”

In regards to national security, so many lament our nation’s reliance on oil imports from ‘hostile nations.’ But an opportunity to remedy the situation has surfaced in the form of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would import oil from Canada, yet Democrats have protested vehemently. Now that the project has been stopped, more money is going to empower nations that are guilty of terrible human rights abuses and, to say the least, are not as friendly as Canada.

I am not saying there is a right answer, but there is definitely a wrong answer, and that is to spend our precious financial resources and waste valuable time simply in order to appease our own conscious.

One fact is simple: Four more years of the current administration’s energy policy is another four years of fighting the inevitable fact that we, as a population, are reliant on fossil fuels and this will be the case for the foreseeable future, despite periodic fits of green exuberance which ultimately subside when prices decrease.

Photo Credit: jurvetson

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Jonathan Gillman

Gillman has been working in the traditional energy sector in Washington D.C. for the past several years after completing his degree in Political Science from the Johns Hopkins University, where he also completed his Masters degree recently in Government/Security Studies.

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