Finally, the Board of Trustees should endorse national tailpipe emission standards supportive of the needs of the most polluted states. In December 2007, the Bush administration’s Environmental Protection Agency denied California’s request to set higher emission standards than that required by the federal government. Every state should be fully supported in its effort to improve its own air quality.
Phase Three - Future Transportation
President-elect Obama has called on the country to build "wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead." He has said, "We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children and building wind farms and solar panels, fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead."
This all sounds good, but how does Obama plan to make all of this happen? By 2025, the U.S. will have to import three-quarters of its expected thirty million barrels per day of consumption. Two of every three barrels of oil used in the U.S. is burned by cars and trucks and that basic fact must be the central focus of any American transportation policy.
The final phase of forcing the American automobile industry to meet future transportation needs should oversee the improvement of the Interstate Highway System and most major streets and highways in America to provide a constant source of electromagnetic energy sufficient to power a standard automobile anywhere in America at no cost to the operator.
The technology exists to design triple-hybrid cars to operate primarily on electromagnetic energy supplied by a mutual inductance interface embedded under the surface of all highways and freeways. In addition, they can be equipped with small fuel efficient internal combustion engines to supplement rechargeable batteries for trips on local streets and byways.
Americans should be able to travel for free throughout the United States as a matter of national privilege. Workers could get to their jobs without having to slave an hour each day just to pay for getting there. Everyone would have more money to spend on vacations, and would be able to tour the country, see the grand sights, and visit with friends and relatives along the way.
Space-based solar technology can provide an inexhaustible, safe, pollution free supply of energy and is a far more logical solution than petroleum, ethanol or nuclear-fueled hydrogen systems. Satellites in orbit around the Earth and/or collectors on the moon’s surface can be engineered to convert the sun’s radiant energy into electricity 24 hours a day, which can be safely transmitted by microwave beams to receiving antennas on Earth.
Space solar power is not a new idea. NASA and the Department of Energy have been studying the issue for the past 30 years and have found it to be technically feasible. However, given the domination of the Bush administration by the oil industry, no research and development has been done on space solar power since 2001.
If America initially dedicated space solar power to energize its national highways, the U.S. could begin to restrict the use of its remaining fossil fuels to the manufacturing of synthetic materials and purposes other than energy. Ultimately, the entire national economy could be powered by space solar power and other renewable sources of energy, such as surface solar and wind power systems.
Although there are substantial costs associated with the development of space solar power, it makes far more sense to spend the space exploration budget on developing an efficient and reliable power supply for the future, than upon stupid and ineffective missile defense systems. On the other hand, the development of space solar power would solve one of the last major stumbling blocks to space exploration – reducing the cost of moving material from Earth to orbit.
With funding for the space shuttle ending in 2012 and for the space station in 2017, America must decide upon a realistic policy for space exploration, or else it will be left in the dust by other nations, such as Japan, China, and the European Union, who are rapidly developing futuristic space projects.
The first nation that captures and effectively makes use of space solar energy to provide low-cost transportation will dominate the world economy for generations to come and will become a much healthier and far more secure society.