Massive Rebuilding Is What's Needed on Energy

Throwing money at scientific research may not be the way to solve climate or oil dependence woes.

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AltEnergyStocks is calling for a Marshall Plan, not a Manhattan Project, for energy. I found this provocative post because the author, Tom Konrad, used as one of the underpinnings of his argument my recent blog post illustrating how deeply divided members of Congress and the administration are on how to spend energy research money.

There are plenty of folks out there calling for a federal commitment on energy similar to the effort that led to the development of the atomic bomb or, more peacefully, man's journey to the moon. Most notable among them are the authors Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus of the Breakthrough Institute, who call for a $30 billion annual clean-energy investment. James Pethokoukis, my editor and U.S. News Capital Commerce blogger, has predicted that both parties' presidential candidates will launch an Apollo Project platform for energy, although keep in mind he also forecast $60-a-barrel oil this year in that same post. (So far, he's been right about the monster flick Cloverfield, however.)

But Konrad at AltEnergyStocks is in the camp that believes that instead of (or, some say, in addition to) devoting more money to the energy problem in hopes of a breakthrough, there is plenty we can and should do now: "Much more than new scientific resources, we need to leverage our financial and organizational resources to get the needed projects on the ground today," he says. See also this post from Joe Romm at Climate Progress on how "accelerating the deployment of boring old technology" may be more important than space-age-style research.

energy policy and climate change

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