Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Lets talk about Renewable Energy

With one week remaining before the American people cast their vote for president, the campaign for that vote is getting hotter than a sidewalk in August. 

Both candidates are hitting the swing states and making one final case for why they are the right man for a job that only 43 other men have held in 223 years.

While Republican candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama campaign they are calling on America’s traditions to appeal to the voter who might still be undecided a week away from the election.  I still consider myself to be undecided, as the two candidates have not touched on an area that I have become interested in recently, the industry of renewable energy, like wind and solar power.

One of the American traditions is the field of technological innovation.  As Obama said to an assembly at Ohio State University back in March: “We’ve always succeeded because we refused to stand still.  We put faith in the future.  We are inventors.”

The vast preponderance of American innovation, from the telegraph and the railroad of the 19th century to aviation and the automobile in the 20th century, has come about thanks to partnership between the government and businesses.  For the last 150 years or so, the United States has been at the cutting edge of innovation.  It is one of the reasons we are a world power today and it has always started with government support.

Romney has said countless times through the campaign that the government does not create jobs.  I find that hard to believe.  If the government doesn’t help create jobs, what does it do?

 Renewable energy, such as wind or solar power, is an industry through which the government can create jobs and in doing so stimulate the economy in a similar way that oil found in Texas during the Great Depression helped jump start the economy then.  Wind and solar power represent two industries that could play a crucial role in deciding how the country is powered over the coming decades.

The candidates should speak more about the things that will help the entire country, not just two parties.  On this they have fallen short so far in the campaign.

Renewable energy such as wind power or solar power should be a bigger issue to Americans and yet it is not.  These two types of energy have been around in some form for decades but the government has not really given them the attention that could tilt the balance of energy from oil and gas to wind and solar.  All the materials are there, it just needs the right amount of support from the government. 

Like land in 1862, wind and sun power are things that we have plenty of in this country. Unlike land though, the wind will never stop blowing and the sun will never stop shining.  But if our government does not put aside its ridiculous preoccupation with partisanship, our development of these technologies cannot go forward as best it can. 

According to USA Today, the United States spent $51 billion dollars on renewable energy in 2011, second only to China, which spent $52 billion that same year on renewable energy.  If we are a country that prides ourselves on innovation and being the best at everything it should bother Americans, politicians and voters alike that we spend less than another country in an industry where we have a wealth of resources.  Can we not find an extra billion dollars to invest in renewable energy?  I think we can.

A United States that put its energies (no pun intended) into wind and solar technology would be a better country.  Renewable energy is not going to solve all of the problems that ail the United States, but if it is properly supported by the government it can go a long way to solving some of those problems. 

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