The Breakthrough Institute, a progressive think tank founded in 2003 (see the 3P post Environmentalism is Dead: Why Doomsday Doesn’t Work), is hoping to generate support to convince the next Congress and President to pass a National Energy Education Act to help “lay the groundwork for a new energy economy”
Modeled after the National Defense Education Act of 1958 (pdf) in response to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik, the NEEA would direct government investment toward training the next generation of Americans in “strategic energy-related fields”.
The legislation would specifically support training in engineering, technology, science, mathematics, business, and policy, assisting students pursuing innovation in energy development as they move through the educational system and on into a professional career.
As is consistently reported here in TriplePundit, the challenges faced in our changing world present commensurate opportunities. As the American Solar Energy Society states in a report entitled Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency: Economic Drivers for the 21st Century (pdf), there were 8.5 million new jobs created in 2006 in renewable energy and efficiency technologies. The potential for continued growth is real, but a limiting factor is a lack of trained workers with the right skill-set to meet the needs of a new energy economy.
Meeting that need starts with proper education.Click to continue reading »