Energy has been a hot topic of debate for many decades in the United States. From our founding, we have powered our lives with wood, coal, petroleum, hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear, and most recently, wind and solar energy. There is an overwhelmingly important need for the United States to become energy independent, and it goes beyond the limited source of fossil fuels and our dependence on foreign nations. It is a matter of national security and sustainably generating clean power is currently shaping our lives, future generations, and humanity as a whole.
The oil crisis of 1973 reminds us of the inherent instability that results from relying on exported energy sources. Yet, disasters like 3 Mile Island, Exxon Valdez, Deepwater Horizon, and the Aliso Canyon leak remind us of the enormous environmental risks that accompany the extraction, storage, and creation of energy with traditional power sources. Combined with our understanding of human contribution to climate change, running our grid on local, sustainable, clean, safe energy is absolutely critical to the building of a strong economy in the 21st century. Recent news of the US backing out of the Paris Climate Agreement may raise questions on the future of green energy, but economic analysts predict that the greening of our electricity system is unstoppable.
Solar energy is booming in the United States. Installation costs have continued to decline and that has accelerated the growth of the industry. Not only is solar providing a sustainable source of electricity for Americans while reducing the carbon footprint, the industry has also been a huge factor in stabilizing and growing the economy with jobs.