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Green Energy Policies

The current trends in U.S. energy policy are encouraging, but also disheartening. There is reason to be encouraged by the Obama administration’s “green” energy policies.

The New Energy for America plan proposed during the 2008 campaign, the recent plan for renewable energy tax credits, and the continued support for renewable energy production are all positive steps.

However, all these progressive plans must make their way through Congress, which has been less than interested in acting on these policies. The attacks from those in Congress levied on the EPA, however legitimate or illegitimate on their own merits, damaged the popular perspective on renewable energy policy.

This deterioration of the public trust has been disheartening and the inaction is more than disappointing. The worst part about the current trends of energy policy is it seems even the most promising ideas will be blocked by a Congress whose pockets are filled by status quo energy producers and lobbyists.

Mr. Romney recently stated he would cut tax subsidies to wind energy as president. This would inevitably lead to more cuts and crippling of renewable energy programs. To their credit, there are members of Congress who have made it their top priority to pass renewable energy legislation, and President Obama hasn’t relented. It appears renewable energy policy is finally gaining support among voters, which is the most encouraging part of trending energy policy.

The critical point regarding energy policy is that isn’t only a federal matter. As a devolved system, states are able to take the matter of energy policy into their own hands, and have: California is the most prominent state to promote a renewable energy policy, followed closely by the other West Coast states. However, devolution is a double-edged blade, and many states have chosen to ignore clean energy programs.

Overall, it is fair to be encouraged by the current energy policy in the U.S., but it’s certainly not perfect.

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