Renewable Thinking

Who I Voted For
by Alex Osteen -- November 2nd, 2012

Last week I voted early on campus. I was undecided until the day before but in the end it all made sense. Okay, so I want to get a job in renewable energy when I graduate from Duke and, selfishly, I voted based on that.

My big issues were:

  1. U.S. energy independence.
  2. Lowering unemployment and the deficit and debt.
  3. Growing small/medium-sized businesses.

I learned from the debates that, lucky for me, both candidates claim they will do these things, so I can’t lose! Hah.

Mr. Romney says that by drilling-baby-drill, jobs will be created and worrying about OPEC will be a thing of the past. Canada’s oil sands and Alaska’s bio-reserves will help him achieve this.

Mr. Obama, on the other hand, says that  an “all-of-the-above” strategy is the way to go and wants to rely more on natural gas, coal, wind and solar, as well as nuclear. He’s been bruised by the epic failure of Solyndra, but says he will continue to support renewables nonetheless. Also, he proposes new environmental standards like fuel efficiency and carbon capture and sequestration.

So which is it, oil and the private sector OR a mix of energy sources and government regulation? Which will be better for the economy as a whole, our national security and the environment? Is oil enough? Is it wasteful and unfair for the government to give subsidies to green startups? Does the president even have the power to control these things and are they even possible?

It would be tacky for me to say who I ended up deciding on, but you may have already guessed. Over the next few months I hope to outline this dilemma in more detail. In the meantime, go out and cast your vote!

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