Assignments:

Unfinished Assignment Study Questions for Lesson 72

Lesson Objectives:

- Renewable energy policy
- Dependence on oil
- Energy legislation
- RPS standards

Fossil fuels are limited and polluting. They are non-sustainable.

Renewable energy is sustainable energy. They do not pollute ecosystems. Building a renewable energy policy involves having plans to produce renewable energy to meet consumption and reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The United States imports 2/3 of its oil, mostly used in transportation. We are heavily dependent on oil to power our economy.

$600,000 leaves the United States every minute to pay for oil fuel. We are dependent on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and are vulnerable to terrorist attacks on our energy supplies and infrastructure. Moving away from fossil fuel use will help the United States become more energy independent. Given the United States' dependence on foreign oil, often in volatile areas, both the Bush and Obama administrations have aimed to increase renewable energy development. This has increased over time. Both the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 were developed to assist in this. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 gave a huge$43 billion boost to renewable energy. These new federal laws also set standards to establish fuel energy standards and to increase energy conservation and efficiency.

Apart from the federal regulations, RPS standards have also been adopted in some areas of the country. Renewable portfolio standards or RPS requires utility companies to provide more power from renewable energy sources other than hydroelectric sources.

37 states and the District of Columbia have implemented RPS. These standards do not directly address climate change but they expand programs to capture and sequester carbon.

More Americans are energy-conscious after gasoline prices steadily rose during a decade. A carbon tax is one idea that has been proposed to discourage fossil fuel use and to encourage renewable energy production that does not produce carbon. While the United States is far from being energy independent, there is serious effort to address the need for renewable energy sources and increase efficiency today.