U.S. falls behind on clean energy

April 02, 2010

The article, "China takes lead on clean energy" (March 25) discussed the United States' lack of investment in clean energy. This is definitely a concern as we are known to be one of the most developed countries. Some of the countries that are outspending us include China, Germany, Mexico and Canada. Falling behind these countries is definitely a shock and should be a wake up call to our government.

Canada and Germany have much smaller populations than the United States, and one has to wonder why we cannot match what they are spending. Then, there is Mexico. This is a surprise as Mexico is not a fully developed nation. The article did mention a portion of the current limited clean energy spending is to be blamed on the economic situation, however, there is definitely more to it. Part of the problem has to be the way our government functions. With our system of government, it can be very difficult to get anything accomplished. If the government wishes to give out subsides to people who research and implement clean energy, the money has to come from somewhere. To obtain this money, our government usually has to raise taxes or make other budget cuts. This is never good news to politicians who are often concerned about being re-elected and pleasing constituents. Therefore, in the United States government subsides are very difficult to obtain and other avenues of obtain clean energy must be utilized.

One method for obtaining these new ideas would be more research and innovation in the private sector. Though these companies may not have full support of the government, they will be able to make a profit in the future by selling their ideas and products. There also needs to be more international cooperation. The matter of climate change is a global problem, and every nation needs to cut back on emissions. Instead of holding back ideas, countries need to come together and be willing to share their research. This would have several benefits as emissions will be cut worldwide and global results will be observed. Overall, developing and implementing new clean energy ideas will be a great challenge for the U.S.; however, we have overcome other crises in the past and hopefully the rest of the world will assist each other as we make great strides to developing these new ideas and attempt to restore climate balance.

Patrick Hearn, College Park

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