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Energy Policy

May 20, 2011 • Volume 21, Issue 20
Should the U.S. use more clean-energy sources?
By Jennifer Weeks

Introduction

President Barack Obama, speaking at a solar power facility in Arcadia (Getty Images/Zach Boyden-Holmes)
President Barack Obama, speaking at a solar power facility in Arcadia, Fla., has set a goal of generating 80 percent of the nation's electricity from cleaner, alternative-energy sources by 2035. (Getty Images/Zach Boyden-Holmes)

Gasoline prices are rising above $4 per gallon in many parts of the United States, causing stress for consumers and political finger-pointing. Conservatives say that government overregulates energy companies and limits domestic production, while liberals want to repeal tax breaks for oil companies. But the larger problem is that the United States has an energy-intensive economy and depends heavily on imported oil. The Obama administration, with support from environmentalists, argues that the U.S. needs to use more clean-energy sources, and that investing in these industries will generate high-tech jobs and export revenues. Republicans in Congress want to cut federal energy spending and rely on market forces to determine which fuels and technologies succeed. Complicating the issue, many forms of energy receive various kinds of government support, although budget debates could provide an opportunity to rethink whether longstanding energy subsidies are still needed.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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May 20, 2011  Energy Policy
Apr. 01, 2011  Wind Power
Jul. 24, 2009  Energy and Climate
May 19, 2006  Energy Efficiency
Feb. 01, 2002  Energy Security
May 25, 2001  Energy Policy
Mar. 03, 2000  Energy and the Environment
Mar. 05, 1999  The Politics of Energy
Oct. 12, 1990  Energy Policy: Options for the 1990s
Jan. 30, 1981  Energy Policy: The New Administration
May 25, 1979  Public Confidence and Energy
Apr. 05, 1974  Continental Energy Sharing
Dec. 29, 1965  Electric Power Supply and Regulation
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