Why is something that is so universally necessary so controversial? The topic of energy stimulated hours of thoughtful discussion. The discussion went from debating whether food should be grown for ethanol when people need food to live to how can we curb the profit motive that keeps progress towards developing energy sources to a minimum. We talked about the effect of deregulation. Most felt that competition has not done much for reducing prices. One participant shared that in Philadelphia, energy workers are going door to door to solicit for new customers since consumers have a choice of which utility company to buy services from. Deregulation is threatening business and might be responsible for price increases. The group of university alumni and undergraduates from Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington, DC and having studied legal communication, nursing, physics, political science and finance felt that putting energy lines underground is done in downtown areas where businesses, government, and companies are to keep from there being failures and keeping those areas operational and producing income. While in the suburbs and in residential areas, utility wires are mostly above ground causing increasingly frequent power failures. There is relatively less money to be made in the suburbs so there is little incentive to even compensate homeowners for their losses during power failures. In fact, there was a recent request for a price increase to compensate utility companies for their losses during the outages. Go figure!
We looked at the contrast between countries such as Egypt that produce so much energy that they export it to other countries to produce income. Dubai has so much oil that they export it as well. We all wondered why America does not use its vast sparsely populated mid-section to effectively produce enough energy to supply both coasts and export some of it. We concluded that confusion over how to garner the technology into the hands of a few might be responsible for the lag. Profit for a few seems to drive almost everything. Wind turbines and solar grids and storage tanks could be strung across 3,000 miles producing enough energy to supply all states along the route.
We need energy independence and we have to explore even more solutions, employ technology, and search the consciences of the business world to allow natural resources to be developed and to have them reach every American.