Week Three Discussion Forum
This week, I have two discussion forum questions for your response. Please post your response to each question separately:
1. The federal government had extensive control over the development of hydroelectric power, encouraged the development of this energy source by public entities, and FDR used this public development as an opportunity to provide work relief to the unemployed during the Great Depression. Since that time, there has been little support for government control of any industry to that extent. However, given our current economic climate, would such an approach be appropriate in the development of alternative energy sources? Explain, and then respond to at least one of your classmates' responses and explain why you agree or disagree.
I would argue that in recent years, due to economic conditions, government control or at least direct involvement, in industry has grown. Take domestic automakers, for example. The General Motors Corp. received government loans last year, and the U.S. Department of Treasury became a major shareholder. Since then, there has been a more focused move toward vehicles that get better mileage and are considered cleaner. I would cite electric cars and plug-in hybrids as an example. I believe the Obama administration has been pushing for this.
Along these lines, there also has been major support as of late for the alternative energy industry through the federal stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The $787 billion plan includes tens of billions for energy-related projects.
I believe government involvement in the alternative energy industry is OK, if it can use incentives and grants to spur development, fund research and keep the price of the technology within reach for major users of energy and the public. Both the involvement in GM through loans and the alternative energy industry through stimulus money seems to have created jobs, at least in the short term.
2. Hydropower, natural gas, and nuclear power all have the ability...