Alternative Energy and Energy Independence

Alternative Energy and Energy independence are often talked about as an issue with one solution. I want to tell you there is not one solution. Only a combination of solutions can truly prevent future energy crisis. I support development of the Keystone Pipeline as a way to wean the US off of Middle Eastern Oil Production. In addition, oil prices will drop globally when the US, one of the major purchasers of oil, no longer relies on traditional OPEC powers. For the long term, the US needs to continue to develop alterative fuel sources, but not at the cost of our environment and businesses.

solar panel

Solar Energy

Solyndra was a manufacturer of solar panels based in Fremont, California. These were cylindrical panels of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film solar cells. The majority of Solyndra's funding was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a.k.a. economic stimulus funds. Although the company was once touted for its unusual technology, plummeting silicon prices led to the company's inability to compete with more conventional solar panels.

In 2011, Solyndra ceased all business activity, laid off all employees, and filed for bankruptcy, leaving the US Government holding the bag for $385 Million of the total $536 Million Loan Guarantee, in addition to $25 Million in tax breaks. Besides the economic repercussions of the Bankruptcy and Loan Default, the Company also left behind an environmental mess at their plant, which represents little more than a toxic waste dump today. This should not deter the U.S. from exploring alternative energy sources, but it should remind everyone of the risks taken when supporting a new and unproven technology.

wind turbines

Wind Energy

In addition to Solyndra's environmental disaster, the Government has overlooked the killing of a large number of Bald Eagles due to its support of Wind Turbine Energy. While this new energy source seems promising, it does not mean that indiscretions and violations of the Endangered Species Act should be ignored. Though these deaths are seemingly unintentional and for the greater good, a private citizen would most assuredly be prosecuted for a similar offense.