Re: your July 10 commentaries, "Shifting away from fossil fuels" by Reese Halter and "Weaning America off its oil addiction" by Jeffrey L. Wissot.
Both writers embrace the idea of moving away from the use of fossil fuels to green technologies. Unfortunately, some of the technologies desired are not yet available.
For example, the all-electric car is not yet a viable alternative for today's automobile. To be viable, the all-electric vehicle must get at least 300 miles on a single charge, batteries must be rechargeable in five minutes or less, and have sufficient power to run an air conditioner in summer or electric heater in winter. To my knowledge no such battery technology exists today. At best the all-electric vehicle is good for short hops.
Both authors suggest that higher energy costs will fuel innovation and lead to the development of green technologies. While this is true, it will also have a devastating effect on our economy. Raising energy prices will increase the cost of American goods and services and decrease foreign sales. Furthermore, American jobs will move overseas, and unemployment will increase. Our trade imbalance will continue to grow and our net wealth will decrease.
The solution is not to raise energy prices, but to reduce the cost of green technologies. When automobiles were first invented, they were custom built and too expensive. Henry Ford came along, and with some innovation, including setting up the first assembly line, was able to reduce the cost to where the Model-T became affordable.
Henry Ford did not drive up the cost of hay and feed to make operating a horse and buggy more expensive. He drove the cost of the automobile down to the level ordinary people could afford. Self interest then took over and the rest is history. Mandates are not the answer!
~ Anthony van Leeuwen,