A top science question the candidates for president should answer is:

What policies would you support to meet demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?

3. Energy. Many policymakers and scientists say energy security and sustainability are major problems facing the United States this century. What policies would you support to meet demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?

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      • Ronald ChappellRonald Chappell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Support should include adequate level support of R&D of any credible idea. Assure that competing ideas for scientific study are funded at truly competitive levels. Study should include all known concepts for energy development as well as those yet to be conceived. Given the weakness of congress to be swayed by lobby money etc. , 'separate but equal' must be mandated by law. Avoid selecting 'winners' with provision of loans, grants and subsidies at the level to start-up businesses. Carry R&D to the point that private equity is anxious to invest in start-up businesses without further federal guarantees. Congress has shown itself incapable of resisting political pressure from lobbies both corporate and grass root constituencies to keep out of the business of competition at the business operations level. Do not distort the market with feed-in tariffs, price supports or other regulations which crowd out competing businesses. Multiple technical approaches should not be discouraged through government mandated distortions. Indeed multiple solutions should not be avoided but encouraged..
        Will support of the multiplicity of R&D for multiple scientific studies and technologies result in waste? Yes, but be less wasteful and ultimately more productive than the present situation of promoting 'businesses' without an economic future and potentially crowding out technologies which can add to economic solutions.
        For example: Crowding out adequate scientific research into green house global warming study through the device of pre-selecting conclusions with politically motivated funding choices must be curbed through requiring equal funding of competing scientific concepts. Care needs to be exercised to assure funding all competing studies until the scientific community can agree that all science has been thoroughly explored and that there is agreement that nothing significant remains before deciding that either there is no clear conclusion or that there is one. Science is a very messy business and must not be adjudicated by government with political motivations. Choices among scientific and technical concepts must ultimately be made through the device of competing businesses based on the science available through their economic survival.
        Another clear example is the choice of corn alcohol as an energy solution by a politically motivate congress. With the hindsight of more adequate scientific analysis and study, it should be obvious that private sector investment would not have been made without market distortion through the device of government funding and mandates.
        One could go on, but perhaps this explains the concept.

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