Time to Debate New Energy Proposals

Congress and everyone else must take a step back from the hybrid hype to make sure the technology is one that is ready to be an anchor of a new energy policy.

Published: 17-Nov-2005

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A diverse group of environmentalists, evangelical Christians and conservative Congressmen unveiled a proposal Wednesday to wean the United States from foreign oil. Among their proposals was a program of loan guarantees to get automakers to switch from producing gas guzzlers such as SUVs to gas-electric hybrids, advanced diesel and other new technologies.

These proposals contain good ideas, but whether they are workable will require a great deal of debate. For example, too many questions about hybrids remain to commit to that technology as a long-term solution to our energy needs. Such as, how long will the batteries in the average hybrid car last? How much will they cost to replace? In the long run, do costs associated with the batteries make hybrids too expensive for the average household?

Congress and everyone else must take a step back from the hybrid hype to make sure the technology is one that is ready to be an anchor of a new energy policy. Congress can legislate all it wants, but until hybrids are truly affordable, they will remain a hard sell to the general public.

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