Gas prices are expected to rise next week to $12.00 per gallon! –Not really, but the headline did grab your attention. When a major storm, such as Hurricane Katrina, enters the Gulf of Mexico, or certain Middle Eastern countries begin talks of war, we often cringe at the thought of these events and what affects they could have at the pump or in other aspects of our lives. Energy security generally refers to the level at which a nation is prepared to adequately supply enough energy to meet the necessary demand, despite outside factors or uncontrolled threats to the country’s infrastructure or resources.”
America’s current energy security problems are simply due to a lack of diverse energy resources, and our dependency on foreign nations to obtain these resources. These two factors make our nation vulnerable to price hikes, threats to infrastructure and transportation, environmental hazards, and many other critical risks.
For years our nation’s leaders have vowed to strengthen our energy security by encouraging a more diverse energy portfolio that includes resources produced here, or in allied countries that hold similar interests to ours. President Barack Obama, like many of his predecessors, has made energy security a major priority of his first term in office. Likewise, business leaders, professionals, or simply concerned citizens should also pay close attention to the future of our nation’s energy infrastructure. Here are three reasons why we should take the time to stay informed, and understand how our country’s energy security can play a crucial part in everyone’s lives.
• The government has introduced several tax breaks and other credits associated with encouraging a more green economy. This year President Obama awarded $2.3 billion in Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits to encourage more clean energy manufacturing projects. Over 180 projects were selected to receive the credits, and the President hopes that these projects will put Americans back to work, and help meet the goal of doubling the amount of renewable energy the country uses in the next three years.
• Future state and federal legislation may directly affect your business or industry. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that in 2009, 27 states introduced 64 bills that focused on energy security. Many of these bills are aimed at encouraging programs and authorities to foster energy security through the production of more local energy sources. However, some of the proposed legislation requirements and standards could be costly to certain industries or individual businesses.
• Energy Security can help you advance your career or start a business. As the country searches for ways to strengthen our energy security, innovation will guide the workforce. “We’re going to need more sources of energy, and more sources of energy create great opportunity for employment,” says Tracy Faulkner, Vice President of Communications for Shell Oil Company. Shell’s GameChanger program helps entrepreneurs by sponsoring resources that will enable innovative ideas to be developed and introduced into the marketplace.
Join us November 8, 2010 as Black Enterprise and Shell invite you to participate in a forum that will focus on energy security and responsibility. You can also join in on the conversation at the Black Enterprise + Shell Energy Forum Web site, and register for a chance to attend this exclusive event.