Don’t abandon current energy pursuing alternatives

Tom Garrett

In the ever-expanding field of energy, wading through uncharted waters is routine. Now more than ever we are faced with opportunities that are unprecedented historically.

Our nation, long reliant on fossil fuels, is witnessing a vast expansion of solutions in the field of energy. Today’s scientists and engineers are innovating to find alternate means of energy capture. I commend them and am thankful for their groundbreaking discoveries. I am a strong proponent of creating a multitude of diverse, viable options in the field of energy.

The benefits of alternative, renewable energy sources are extensive. From its proven environmental and health benefits to its prospects for large numbers of high paying jobs in engineering, manufacturing, and related fields — the future of alternative energy is tremendous.

However, as a careful steward of your tax dollars, I am always weary of forcing any new or unnecessary costs onto the American taxpayer.

Therefore, I do not believe in abandoning the current forms of energy production that have fueled our economy and workforce for more than a century before we prove that alternative energy can effectively shoulder the same burden held by existing methods at a cost that is lesser or equivalent. I support further research and testing of alternative energy resources, more specifically in ways that increase output and decrease costs.

In addition, I would also support state experimentation into finding cheaper means of fueling their businesses, industries, and economies by opening up their markets to favor individual use of alternative energy sources.

For instance, by encouraging utility companies to allow solar or wind consumers to sell their excess energy back to the grid, states could encourage the use of alternative energy without additional cost to the taxpayer. Tax incentives for solar panel and wind turbine factories could very well have potential to solve this problem in the private sector.

Energy is a major facet of our nation’s economy and therefore the fiscal impact of proposed solutions is and will continue to be a priority in my decision making process.

— Republican Rep. Tom Garrett represents the 5th District of Virginia, which includes Rappahannock County.

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