Oregon’s Extreme Environmentalists

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The US economy runs on fossil fuels. They provide 86 percent of our energy, with renewable fuels and nuclear making up the rest.

That mix will surely change, but how?

We don’t know and neither do our elected officials. The right approach allows the market to change the mix as new technologies alter the relative costs of different sources. Let consumers choose to power their lives with the resources they like best.

Fossil fuels account for about 86 percent of our energy consumption. Renewables, including wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydro, make up seven percent, with nuclear making up the rest. That mix will surely change as technology develops and the relative cost of each energy source changes, but what will be the best mix in the future? We don’t know, and neither do the politicians who represent us. We rely heavily on fossil fuels because they provide the most energy at the lowest price, enabling us to spend more of our income on something besides energy bills.

To ensure energy prices do not become artificially high and erode our prosperity, our elected officials should follow an “all of the above” energy strategy. That is, they should free our entrepreneurs to explore and develop all possible energy solutions by minimizing governmental barriers. It’s a win-win situation.

As entrepreneurs profit from their new inventions, consumers will benefit from new, more cost-effective, energy, and the virtuous circle of American prosperity will continue. The alternative– our elected officials picking winners and losers and getting in the way of select energy sources– will mean higher energy bills for everyone.

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