This week CCC is co-hosting the final community deliberative dialogue on energy choices. We hope you can join us on Thursday, August 29 at 7:00 PM at Cahoots to explore options to the question “what should America do to ensure a continuing supply of energy to meet our needs as well as those of our children and grandchildren?”
According to the National Issues Forums, “Meeting the United States’ substantial appetite for energy raises a complex network of economic, environmental, and political issues. There are national-security and economic concerns, environmental problems like air and water pollution, and potential climate-change effects from fossil fuels, such as extreme weather, sea-level rise, and changing growing seasons.”
Globally, there has been an increase in the need for energy options as the population grows and we become increasingly interconnected. The increased demand has resulted in an increased variety of supply options–clean energy, more creative ways to extract fossil fuels, attempts to maximize production while minimizing energy consumption, and more–as well as increased concerns regarding foreign entanglements, terrorism, and pollution. In response to some of these concerns, the U.S. has made strides toward energy independence, driving new production for finite energy resources and the development of new technologies for energy sources.
However, there is still a need for better and longer-term solutions. The following are three proposed options to meet the country’s energy needs:
Option 1: Keep America Self-Reliant and Stable
This option suggests the U.S. should rely solely on the energy resources available domestically to avoid global entanglements. However, this option also recognizes that relying solely on domestically supplied energy could have major environmental impacts and also affect communities near facilities like mines, refineries, and transmission lines.
Option 2: Take Local Responsibility for Clean Energy
This option encourages everyone to get involved in the supply process to decentralize the system thereby providing cleaner, locally produced energy where it is needed. However, this would also require costly infrastructure changes, be time-intensive, have economic impacts, change how our communities look and how we live, and add a responsibility for producing power, which people may not want or be able to afford.
Option 3: Find Ways to Use Less Energy
This option suggests we should use as little energy as possible and get the maximum benefit from the energy we do consume to reduce the environmental impact and increase security. However, this could restrict personal choices and limit economic growth and does not address how different sources of energy impact the environment.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts!