How will technology affect future energy policy?
Lester Brown: I think the goal in this century is an electricity/hydrogen-energy economy that makes us independent of fossil fuels. That is not a step function; itís a process, and itís a process that I think the United States should establish as a leadership goal. In my judgement, we have the technological means to achieve it.
David Freeman: Itís not technology thatís inhibited
our energy policy in this country; itís been pure politics.
And the politics of oil, coal, and automobiles has blocked any
move toward greater efficiency. I do think that market forces
-- if consumers are efficiently educated and interested -- can
change energy policy, not in Washington but in the showrooms
of the automobile industry.
Kurt Yeager: One unfortunate side effect of restructuring
of the utility industry has been that it encourages the system
to exploit the infrastructure we have rather than build the
infrastructure we need. There are innovative technologies that
could fundamentally improve not just the access to energy, but
our ability to get it where we need it, when we need it, and
under terms and conditions that allow people to make choices.
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