The Importance of Alternative Energy
Over the past few years, alternative energy has risen to the forefront of America's policy consideration. Why do we care so much about alternative energy? It is such a critical issue because our energy policy is an area that has far-reaching implications both domestically and globally. Because we are a benevolent and compassionate nation, we continually seek to better ourselves and our policies in light of developing concerns.
One concerning aspect of our energy policy is our dependence on oil, which has such a significant environmental impact. We know the world's fossil fuel supply is diminishing. We are also running out of viable places to drill for oil. We know that oil is an elusive resource, and we cannot rely on it forever. Furthermore, emissions from our fossil fuel-powered engines can be harmful to our atmosphere. We want clean air for our children and their children so they can take advantage of the parks and recreation sources we enjoy today. Research and development of alternative fuels will benefit the health of our environment and our children.
Our search for alternative energy is not merely a reflection of our environmental concerns, but it is also an issue of stewardship. We have a responsibility to wisely manage the resources we have been entrusted with. We need to be sure we can provide for our energy needs in an environmentally responsible manner. With a commitment to finding alternative energy sources, we can do this.
There is an aspect of the energy issue that is far more serious than our environmental and stewardship concerns, however. Our national security is impacted by our dependence on foreign oil. Some of the countries we import the most oil from - Iran, Iraq, Venezuela - are ruled by unstable or unfriendly regimes. We are made vulnerable by these ties. Our imported oil is being extracted from the very soil on which we are waging battles in the War on Terror. When we as a nation come to the full and solemn realization of this reality, we will also recognize our need to harness our innovative capabilities. Efforts to research and innovate in this arena will enhance our security and ultimately will also benefit our economy.
Although this is a perilous time, we are also living in a promising time. There are many potential avenues to meet our energy needs. Ethanol, other biofuels, safer nuclear technology, clean coal, solar, wind, and even hydrogen offer hope to us. While none of these are developed enough to be fully integrated as a comprehensive solution, there are so many options and avenues of research holding out hope. We are on the verge of breaking through to a major solution to our energy needs. Here we can make a significant mark on history.
One challenge we face in meeting our energy needs is dealing with the classic "chicken or the egg" scenario. To develop and make these technologies more accessible, we need more public demand; but, to have more public demand, we need more accessibility and affordability in these energy solutions.
This past week I attended the opening of Illinois' first publicly accessible hydrogen fueling station at the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) in our district in Des Plaines. The opening of this station is a significant first step towards greater use of hydrogen fuel technology. Hopefully, the fruit of GTI's labors in this hydrogen fueling station will serve as a catalyst for the area, and for the nation at large, so that we can get closer to a viable alternative energy solution. Click here to watch video
I am pleased, personally, to think that this dynamic work is taking place where I grew up, and where I am now raising my family. I am proud to represent Illinois' 6th Congressional District because of the leading research that is being done here and because of the caliber of people we have doing this research. I am committed to a responsible energy policy, which is why I am so pleased to be in relationship with these local resources who are national leaders in the field. In order to be vigilant defenders of our land, benevolent stewards of our resources, and responsible guardians of our children's future, we need to thoroughly explore research into alternative energy sources, and Illinois' Sixth Congressional District is on the forefront of that research.