On July 10, the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted a summit on energy security. Experts from a variety of government agencies and organizations discussed the different ways that America can attain a cleaner, more diverse, and more sustainable energy economy. Although the speakers tended to disagree on how the United States can achieve energy security, all agreed that the future must involve a dramatic expansion of renewable energy production. The devil, of course, is in the details.
The first speaker, from the World Resource Institute, spoke of the need for significant improvements in research and development and investment in renewable energy technology. The next presenter claimed that existing technology could start us on the path. He stated that what is most important is strong policy leadership among decision makers that will guide us towards energy security. There was discussion of the new cap-and-trade bill and Congress' failure to go as far with the legislation as many environmentalists wanted. Emerging technologies such as Carbon Capture and Storage, which seeks to trap greenhouse gases in storage containers before they can damage the environment, were debated; as was the viability of continuing to use more traditional energy sources such as nuclear energy and coal. What was most reassuring was that despite the differences of opinion among the event speakers, what they had in common was the conviction that in order for both America to remain economically competitive, and for the sake of the world environment, the current situation must be changed.
For CSIS's page on the Energy Security conference, audio and video of the event, and links to the World Resource Institute's report, visit: