Issues of Energy

  • Is current energy policy wise?
  • What is the technology driving renewable energy?
  • Why do we need renewable, clean energy?
  • How do we hasten the transition to a renewable energy economy?

Energy is at the core of the sustainability challenge. Most of the production, transportation, and everyday processes that we depend on daily are energy intensive. We not only need to make these processes more energy efficient, but also need to power them with renewable sources if we are to develop a long-term sustainable economy.

Enhanced energy efficiency can help us reduce demand as we reach peak production capacity. Energy efficiency saves money for consumers and lessens the pressure on producers to increase their energy production capacities. However, the growing global population and increased energy use means that increasing energy efficiency will not be enough; we also need to develop renewable energy technologies to meet the growing global demand for energy.

With government investment in research and development, renewable energy technology can advance enough to become a low-cost alternative to fossil fuel use. We have begun this transition to lower cost and plentiful renewable energy, but we still have a long way to go. In the meantime, efforts to extract more fossil fuels using extreme methods such as hydrofracking and mountain top removal for coal are damaging the environment. We need more government regulation of these practices in order to ensure the safety and health of our environment. By carefully examining critical events such as the BP oil spill and the Fukushima nuclear disaster; federal, state, and local policies related to energy issues; and emerging renewable technologies in the posts that follow, I hope to provide insight into the energy issues we face and to shed light on some solutions to these issues. If we can solve the energy challenge, we can solve the sustainability challenge.


Trump’s Attack on Renewable Energy (June 19, 2017)

Replacing the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant with Energy Efficiency (March 6, 2017)

Renewable Energy With or Without Climate Change (February 13, 2017)

Solar New York (October 3, 2016)

Quiet Moves Toward a Renewable Resource Based Economy ( June 20, 2016)

The Climate Crisis and the Transition to a Renewable Economy (April 25, 2016)

Fossil Fuel Companies Need to Become Renewable Energy Companies (April 18, 2016)

The Technological World and the Risk of Nuclear Power (March 14, 2016)

The White House Pushes Clean Energy While Coal States Push the Past (October 26, 2015)

Sustainability Requires Technology, Ethics and Political Will (October 19, 2015)

Arctic Oil Drilling: Deluding Communities About the Benefits of Resource Extraction (September 14, 2015)

Hillary Clinton is Right on Climate Change and the New York Times is Wrong (August 3, 2015)

Coal Miners, Extractive Industries, and a Sustainable Economy (July 20, 2015)

How the Transition to Renewable Energy Could Come (June 15, 2015)

Lessons of the Move from Hybrids Back to SUVs (May 18, 2015)

Deep Sea Drilling Rules and the Transition from Fossil Fuels (April 13, 2015)

The Divestment Distraction and a Positive Vision of Sustainability (March 17, 2015)

Energy Technology: Deploy What We Have vs. Build Something New (March 2, 2015)

Coal Ash and Fracking Fluid: Two More Victories for Environmental Protection (December 22, 2014)

The Transition to Renewable Energy Is Difficult But Feasible (October 6, 2014)

Plastic Bags, Nuclear Waste and a Toxic Planet (September 2, 2014)

Solar Could Grow Faster if We Had a Functioning Federal Government (August 25, 2014)

Two Cheers for President Obama’s Proposed Climate Regulation (June 2, 2014)

Why a Climate Treaty or Carbon Tax is Unlikely (April 21, 2014)

Solving the Sustainability Crisis: Our Job and Technology’s Job (March 3, 2014)

The President’s Climate Policy Should Focus on Renewable Energy R&D (February 24, 2014)

Self-Interest, Reality and Global Climate Policy (January 21, 2014)

Making Progress on Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Energy Efficiency and Solar Power (December 30, 2013)

The Answer to Climate Change Is Renewable Energy, Not Nuclear Power (November 25, 2013)

The Centrality of the Politics of Energy (June 3, 2013)

Mike Bloomberg is Right: We Need to Analyze Our Energy Choices (April 29, 2013)

No Nukes (April 8, 2013)

We Need to Get Past the Energy and Environment Debates of the 1970s (April 1, 2013)

Hiding Renewables Inside the ‘All of the Above’ Energy Strategy Won’t Work (March 18, 2013)

President Obama Should Abandon the All of the Above Energy Strategy (March 11, 2013)

The Political Minefield of Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State (February 25, 2013)

The Political Moment for a Renewable Economy (November 12, 2012)

The Attack on Green Energy (October 22, 2012)

Cuomo’s Careful Approach to Fracking (October 8, 2012)

Mitt’s Meaningless Campaign for Energy Independence (August 27, 2012)

Clean Energy Caught in the Political Mire (May 29, 2012)

The Real Energy Future (April 16, 2012)

The Politics of Petroleum Prices and Our Energy Future (March 5, 2012)

Stop the Solar Trade War (December 19, 2011)

Can Andrew Cuomo Meet the Leadership Challenge of Hydrofracking Policy? (November 28, 2011)

We Need Decentralized and Renewable Energy (November 7, 2011)

Steve Jobs and the Power of Technology (October 10, 2011)

The Green Economy Will Easily Overcome Solyndra’s Bankruptcy (September 19, 2011)

Japan’s Nuclear Catastrophe and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Policy to Close Indian Point (August 15, 2011)

Governor Cuomo and the Hydrofracking Controversy (July 5, 2011)

Solar Power and the Future of Fossil Fuels (June 20, 2011)

Is the Electric Car Finally Here? (June 6, 2011)

The Return of Drill, Baby, Drill (May 16, 2011)

A Plea for Presidential Leadership on Sustainable Energy (April 4, 2011)

The Political Demise of Nuclear Power in the U.S. (March 21, 2011)

Assessing and Reducing the Risks of Energy (March 15, 2011)

Destroying our Drinking Water is the Wrong Way to Create Jobs (February 28, 2011)

Finding our Fossil Fuel Fix: Hydrofracking, Deepwater Drilling and Mountain Top Removal (November 1, 2010)
Let’s Keep the Tops on Our Mountains (October 18, 2010)

How to Cure Fossil Fuel Amnesia (September 20, 2010)

We Need a Real Discussion of the Impact of Tighter Offshore Drilling Regulation (August 17, 2010)

Andrew Cuomo’s Visionary Energy Policy (August 5, 2010)

The Federal Government Attacks Creative Local Green Energy Finance (July 8, 2010)

The Gulf Oil Spill Will Change the Politics of Energy and Environment (April 30, 2010)

Finding the Cash for Sustainable Energy (March 11, 2010)