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July 28, 2009

The Losing Edge: America not so super when it comes to being green

By, Malia Tice

It seems that East and West super powers are all competing to win the clean energy race.  With China, Japan and South Korea all shelling out billions more than the US, if things don’t change, the East may well triumph over the West.

China alone is reportedly investing between $440 and $660 billion in its clean energy industries over the next 10 years.  Japan is currently doubling their incentives for solar energy, aiming for a 20-fold expansion in installed solar energy by the year 2020.  South Korea is investing a full 2% of their GDP earnings in a Green New Deal.  The United States on the other hand is falling quite short investing only about $1.2 billion annually un energy research and development and only about $10 billion in the clean energy sector as a whole (under the Waxman Markey Bill) which is less than 0.1% of the US GDP.  Come on America!

Although the US is investing some money in clean energy technologies as well as clean energy research and development, the reported figures fall extremely short of what was previously promised by President Obama in his RE-ENERGYSE (Regaining our Energy Science and Engineering Edge) program.  This program was “designed to fund new undergraduate and graduate energy curriculum and research opportunities to prepare up to 8,500 highly educated young scientists and engineers to enter clean energy fields by 2015 alone” (Norris and Jenkins, 2009).  Unfortunately, this program is no where near coming to fruition.  In fact, the senate recently rejected the proposal while the house appropriated only $7 million to the program from the proposed $115 million.  Again, come on America!

In order to put the United States back where it belongs (on top), the US must respond to the Asian energy challenge.  We must fight back as we did when the Russians launched Sputnik into the atmosphere.  If the US ever wants to be considered and industry leader and super power again, we must support and implement clean energy programs NOW!

Read the Article Here: Will America Lose the Clean Energy Race?


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