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Government Must Invest in Energy Future of U.S.

November 04, 2003

Re "A Complete Waste of Energy," Commentary, Oct. 29: A good bit of Jerry Taylor and Dan Becker's comments on the current energy bill is on the mark. But their horizon is way too short. Yes, hydrogen-driven fuel cells are not mature, but they will never be unless there is public investment in the technology at this early stage.

With industry reluctant to do long-term research and development, or invest in technologies 20 years away, it is up to the government.

The same is true for the next generation of nuclear power plants, where public opinion is already "rigged" against the market. The technology is too advanced, and the economic risk too great for industry, yet the payoff is so enormous in domestic energy -- essentially zero emissions and large-scale, reliable electricity -- that it demands we invest. That is the role of government.

Edwin A. Karlow

Chair, Department of Physics

La Sierra University

Riverside

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