A very sensible and interesting piece in Bloomberg today about helpful (truly!) things the Energy Department could do with the right attitude and leadership. Sam Thernstrom, who served on G.W. Bush’s Council on Environmental Quality, and David Garman, undersecretary of Energy under Bush, urge that the Energy Department, and really, the country, avoid debacles like Solyndra by focusing on basic research, not late-stage manufacturing.
They also suggest some intriguing avenues of research, for example,
You should also pursue a pragmatic agenda focusing on policy areas where conservatives and liberals might agree, even though their motivations for doing so may differ. For example:
First, promote the use of carbon dioxide captured from electric power plants and industrial processes to extract oil from underproducing wells, a process known as enhanced oil recovery, colloquially called EOR. This would increase domestic oil production and keep our abundant coal resource in play, which is sought by the right, while advancing carbon capture technologies and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which is sought by the left.
There’s much more. Well worth a read. Not that one expects the Obama Administration to listen . . .