News / Economy

    Is Alternative Energy Viable in US Market?

    The Obama administration devoted more than $80 billion towards alternative energy research and energy efficiency as part of the 2009 Recovery Act
    The Obama administration devoted more than $80 billion towards alternative energy research and energy efficiency as part of the 2009 Recovery Act

    Multimedia

    Peter Fedynsky

    The current spike in oil prices sparked by unrest in the Middle East is not the first one to hit the United States.  Traditionally, higher prices have prompted calls for American energy independence through alternative energy.  But skeptics say such calls amount to little more than talk in a nation heavily dependent on cheap foreign oil.

    The latest increase in U.S. fuel prices was driven by unrest in the Middle East.  In the past, Americans have faced higher energy costs following hurricanes that disrupted oil supplies; after major oil spills; or during energy embargoes by the OPEC oil cartel.  Each spike focused attention on America’s dependence on foreign oil.

    Thomas Wallin, president of Energy Intelligence, an energy information company, says few people have noticed that the Obama administration devoted more than $80 billion towards alternative energy research and energy efficiency as part of the 2009 Recovery Act.

    “But I think at a time that governments are trying to cut spending and austerity is sort of the word of the day, it gets very hard to tilt the whole playing field of energy in favor of alternatives, which is what you effectively need to do to make them come in faster,” noted Wallin.

    The 2009 Recovery Act that funded President Obama’s energy initiatives has expired.  And the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is trying to rein in government spending.

    The director of market intelligence at the NASDAQ stock market in New York, Anu Sharma, says the current spike in oil prices will likely provoke a political debate.

    “You’re going to hear people talk about trying to explore new areas for research and development, as well as drilling," noted Sharma.  "That’s going to come up.  And the other side of the debate; the alternative whole energy sector is going to rise up when it comes to solar and wind.”

    But Thomas Wallin says America loses the political will to embrace a dramatic shift in energy policy when oil prices decline.

    “We’ve been through these crises before in the past," noted Wallin.  "There’s been a lot of plans and a lot of talk.  And then, when things get easier, we’re suddenly not spending the money in that way; we’re not pushing those programs the way we were.”

    As a result, if the past is any indication, Americans will likely rely on foreign oil until permanently higher oil prices force them to find alternative sources of energy.

    You May Like

    Video For Many US Veterans, the Vietnam War Continues

    More than 40 years after it ended, war in Vietnam and America’s role in it continue to provoke bitter debate, especially among those who fought in it

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    100 immigrants graduated Friday as US citizens in New York, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in cities across country

    Family's Fight Pays Off With Arlington Cemetery Burial Rights for WASPs

    Policy that allowed the Women Airforce Service Pilots veterans to receive burial rites at Arlington had been revoked in 2015

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8916
    JPY
    USD
    109.40
    GBP
    USD
    0.6905
    CAD
    USD
    1.3147
    INR
    USD
    67.522

    Rates may not be current.