Energy in the 21st century: government policy and alternative sources

August 26, 2001

The California energy crisis reawakened public concerns about energy, mostly dormant since the energy crisis of the 1970s. After more than 20 years of research into alternative energy sources, the United States still relies on fossil fuels for 85 percent of its energy and imports the majority of its oil, according to the Department of Energy.

Underlying the political statements and public worries about the possibility of an energy crisis are real questions about our energy supply and policies, such as: How much energy do we use? How much will we need in the future? And, how can we create energy in a way that doesn't damage the environment? Studies addressing these and other questions will be presented at the 222nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.Extra-strength batteries for your car or home -- Fuel cells are a promising source of alternative energy because they can potentially produce a large and steady stream of energy with little pollution, even when they are powered by fossil fuels. The Department of Energy estimates that fuel cells could be powering some cars, homes, and businesses by 2015.
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American Chemical Society

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