The US is behind on energy

18 10 2011

A recent article by the New York Times begs the question… why is America giving such a lackluster effort on energy, as compared to other nations? We seem behind the times in preventing carbon emissions and switching to renewable sources. The European Union has developed a comprehensive energy plan that is pretty strict, and there are already individual countries with serious standards.

 

Take Sweeden, for example, which pledges to turn nearly half (49%) of their energy into renewables by 2020. Wow! That’s the same date that we’re pushing for the VT coal plant to retire. In the article, it notes that some believe EU plans for sustainable energy are too ambitious, yet Sweeden has been consistently exceeding its target, providing more renewable power by the year!

 

A recent Collegiate Times response to Beyond Coal’s aims notes the amount of research funding the US gives to renewables. And they’re right in that sense, because LOTS of research has been done. The only issue is turning that research into action, which is Beyond Coal’s aim. A great example of positive change is the auto industry, in that regard. Not only are they doing research into fuel efficiency, they’re putting cars out on the market, so the nation can choose. President Obama has even set fuel standards for the industry — imagine ALL the cars on the market averaging out to 54.5 mpg by 2025! Why can’t we do the same with our energy sources, and improve “fuel efficiency” for our electric, heat, and more?

 

Virginia Tech’s motto is Invent the Future. I think we should at least try! So many innovative and practical solutions to energy issues on and off campus have been proposed by students or faculty. Let’s mobilize to put our money where our mouth is and act up.

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