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Deserving A Better Tomorrow Essay

2236 words - 9 pages

Albert Einstein, the famed physicist, once noted that “We can’t solve our problems with the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Today’s world is faced with the dual threats of climate problems brought on by the use of fossil fuels and the economic challenge caused by the increasing scarcity and demand for those fossil fuels. It is time for society to look beyond the limited and dirty fossil fuels as the energy of choice and promote the use of the abundant renewable energy sources we are endowed with. Because the subsidies to wind and other alternative energies ultimately generate more income than their initial costs and because we continue to subsidize fossil fuels, we should modify governmental tax policy to incentivize and establish the renewable energy industries so that they remain competitive with fossil fuels.
Estimates that the world’s population will expand from today’s 6.7 billion to more than 9 billion in 2050 foretell of a coming demand explosion for energy (Friedman 29). Increased requirements for food, transportation, and consumer goods will result in larger energy consumption on many fronts. Fossil fuels, which currently provide an estimated 80 percent of the world’s energy supply, have already been consumed for more than a century and their finite supplies are becoming increasingly difficult to find and more expensive to produce (“Prediction of Energy Consumption World-wide”). The combination of increasing energy demand and depleting fossil fuel supplies calls for government action to incentivize the production and use of the unlimited supplies of renewable energies. Inducements may come in the form of direct subsidies to the producers of renewable energy, construction of the necessary transmission lines to move the energy from its source to population load centers, and in mandating the use of renewable energy.
The United States has a long history of providing tax incentives to promote energy development and since 1992 has worked to encourage renewable energy. The Energy Policy Act of 1992 established the Production Tax Credit, often referred to as the PTC, to stimulate use of renewable technologies by providing a production based credit for the first ten years an operation produces electricity. The credit is allowed for wind, biomass, hydropower, landfill gas and municipal solid waste. Initially the credit was established at 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and has been adjusted upwards for inflation in subsequent years (Wiser 1-2). Though the law providing these credits has been renewed or extended on five occasions, it has been done irresponsibly, allowing the credit to lapse three of those times before it was extended (“Big Oil’s Friends”). Industry proponents argue “the repeated lapses in the tax credit stunt the industry’s growth … and uncertainty is keeping manufacturers from building in the U.S.” (“An Ill Wind”). As it currently stands, the PTC is set to expire again on December 31, 2012. In...

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