The polarization of clean energy comes from politics fueled by money. What's missing are sensible policies that benefit all Americans by providing clean air and less reliance on dirty, archaic, extract and burn energy.
It seems to be whomever spends the most wins, with little regard to what is good for everyone. Of course I'm not surprised; this is how it works.
But just because this is the way it works does not mean we have to accept it. Or that it cannot be changed.
Right now, dirty energy is outspending clean energy.
"The American Wind Energy Association, whose members include Iberdrola SA (IBE) of Bilbao, Spain, gave $56,200 to members of both parties since last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based group that analyzes campaign and lobbying expenditures.
Koch’s political action committee gave more than $872,000 to candidates in 2011 and so far in 2012, almost all to Republicans, according to the center. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) (XOM), the largest U.S. oil company, gave more than $992,000 through its political action committee, mostly to Republican candidates, in that period.
Alternative-energy companies -- such as SunPower Corp. (SPWR) (SPWR) in San Jose, California, and BrightSource Energy Inc. (BRSE) (BRSE), in Oakland, California -- also spend less on lobbying, about $28 million in 2011 compared with $148 million by oil and gas companies, according to data compiled by the center and Bloomberg New Energy Finance," according to Business Week.
The challenge is real. We're at a point now where we can't even have a conversation.
“We want to avoid the catch words -- clean energy, green energy -- that set people off in the wrong way. The political rhetoric is starting to dictate and override any pragmatic solutions,” said Tim Greeff of Accel in Business Week.
It really should not be one or the other, the country needs a smart energy mix and yes, a move toward a clean energy future.
“The over-politicization in the energy debate puts renewable energy on one side and traditional sources like natural gas and nuclear on the other,” Greeff said. “To choose between the two is just silly.”