Economy/Energy/Environment

I have combined these three topics into one article because the solution I hope to propose (with the democratic approval of the people of the district) would include all of them.  I would propose that federal funds be directed toward two large national projects.

First we need to rebuild our infrastructure: bridges, levees, roads, etc.  We have been neglecting this for far too long providing money to the military and other sexier projects.  Of course, I believe the most serious waste of money has been through the Pentagon, and a substantial amount of that money should be directed elsewhere.  Some of that should go to this project.  In addition to rebuilding our infrastructure, we need to expand some aspects of it, too.  We should build a nationwide high-speed rail system and establish an agency under the Department of Transportation to provide low-cost, safe and reliable interstate transportation to the people of this country.  The airline industry and Amtrak have failed to achieve this, and we should not expect them to ever do so.  Fpr those who argue that government should not be getting involved in this, or that it might compete with these private industries, we should note that cities, counties and specially created metropolitan transit districts have been offering trains, subways, trolleys and buses to compete with Greyhound/Trailways, charter bus companies, local cabs and limos without adversely affecting those industries.  When we have a need that private industry has shown an inability to meet, it is the responsibility of government to provide that service.  If private industry can indeed do it better and more efficiently, as some would claim, then let them jump in after government has shown the demand, and let them force the government “out of business.”

The second large project would be to retrofit every house or other suitable building (at the owner’s discretion) with solar panels and/or a windmill.  In many cases, homes with solar panels can meet most, if not all, the energy requirements of the house.  Many people actually produce more energy than they use, and sell some of it back to the energy companies.  With every house in the nation (except those whose owners declined or which were structurally insufficient) fitted with these green energy production technologies, our energy companies would need to produce much less, possibly little enough that they could generate all their needs from wind and/or solar fields, and they would serve as the clearing house for all the incoming surplus energy created by consumers., thus becoming more energy management companies rather than energy production companies.  However, even if they are still producing the majority of our energy, and even if some of that is still from petroleum products, we could at least phase out all nuclear energy, and “dirty” coal.  Furthermore, the project itself will create thousands of jobs in every state, and will probably last many years, which will provide a sustained boost to our economy.  Even after the construction phase is complete, there will be an ongoing need for maintenance, repair and replacement.  Of course, all this clean energy and the phase out of dangerous and/or dirty energy sources will improve the quality of our environment and our lives, and it will also serve to move us away from dependence on fuel sources from foreign nations, providing economic security and reducing our need to go to war for resources.

In addition to this expansion of our energy infrastructure, we should also put some money into research and development of even more efficient wind and solar production technology, as well as other pollution-free renewable energy sources, like compressed air, creating even more jobs and further improving our lives.