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Energy Resources and Suggestions

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    The following is a sample persuasive essay from an author has taken the perspective Speaker of the House making a proposal to Congress. A first-person perspective is often used to present a unique spin on current issues. This narration style can also be used to add greater emphasis to important issues.

    Energy Resources and Suggestions 

    The resources available for energy are limited and are becoming more precious with every year. When the United States congress was unsuccessful in passing a greenhouse emissions bill to combat the problem it became obvious that other ideas to deal with the growing threat of greenhouse emissions had to be introduced. These ideas, I will argue, as The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, are to come from the Renewable Electricity Production Tax and Business Energy Investment Tax credits. In addition, there is a pressing need to investigate commonality between the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007 and the Energy Provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as all three policies are geared towards the ultimate goal of efficiency in energy. Finally, I will propose three requirements of the UN General Assembly to rally global participation. 

    Excessive gas

    Greenhouse gas production has been a steadily growing problem since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and has only increased with stronger traction in production in recent years with the current proposal that these gasses are the main proponent of global warming. It is a troubling fact that,

    the climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age (Goldenberg, par 1).

    In the near and distant future it is therefore sensible and rational to predict that production will continue to rise, probably at astronomical and damaging rates, if there are no changes made to the current energy policies. Further,

    “between them, the 90 companies on the list of top emitters produced 63 percent of the cumulative global emissions…” (12).

    Because of this statistic, it is imperative that changes be made in the form of tax credits in order to encourage these companies through appeal to savings and subsequent increase in profit. This is preferable to the consequence of negative restriction on business in the form government forced acts and laws.  

    Proposal for the present

    I propose the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit and the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit to reduce the levels of greenhouse emissions. The reason it is important to use these in combination is because they cover different areas of energy efficiency. Both tax credits also cover the commercial and industrial sectors of business which are by far the most damaging currently in global emissions. Since the highest producers of global emissions vary in their areas of business, offering options of increased energy efficiency is the best way to tackle this problem. Within the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit there is a very beneficial provision, 

    “unused credits may be carried forward for up to 20 years following the year they were generated…” ("Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC)," p. 1). 

    This allows companies to forecast future business strategies in order to secure these credits for later use. I predict that ultimately this tax provides tremendous incentive for innovation which will be a key factor in not only increased economic success but also in the fight to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

    Incentivizing urgency 

    In examining the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit, there are many benefits. The first is this credit applies to the same fields of business as the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit with the additions of the utility and agricultural sectors. Further, this tax credit has a rush aspect to it which I believe will give businesses huge incentive to speed up their transition into energy efficiency, 

    “…for systems placed in service after December 31, 2016 the credit for equipment that uses solar energy…will decrease from 30% to 10%” ("Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)" 1). 

    Arguably, solar and wind energy are the future energy source for much of business and it crosses over into all sectors of business. I propose that these companies, because most of them are run by investors, would recognize and secure the 20% advantage in the tax credit and make the transition. With respect to these tax credits, it should be remembered that while our government can make demands and put a stranglehold on business with the implementation of required policies, there is another route. Giving businesses that contribute positively to the American economy as well as foreign economies incentive through tax credits allows the government to take a much more proactive instead of reactive approach in the battle to reduce greenhouse emissions. 

    Past energy policies

    2005

    In addition to the above proposed tax policies, it is pertinent to investigate a similarity that resides within the energy policies of 2005, 2007 and 2009. That key similarity is the increase of energy efficiency within federal buildings. In comparing the 2005 and 2007 policies, there are notable differences in this provision. The first is the amount of focus contained within each policy for this category. The 2005 policy dedicates just one section to federal building performance standards whereas the 2007 policy dedicates five sections to this issue. I would argue that the 2005 policy created a good starting point for the desired increase in energy efficiency, 

    “all new buildings must be designed to be at least 30% more efficient than current ASHRAE or IEEC standards” ("EPAct 05, E.O. 13123, E.O. 13423 EISA 07 Summary/Crosswalk" 2).

    This created a rubric for the 2007 policy to follow and it did. 

    2007

    The design of new buildings became more detailed within the 2007 policy with the introduction of requirements for specific machinery within federal buildings. It also requires federal agencies to reward those who obtained the Energy Star label by leasing space. Perhaps the most important addition made in the 2007 policy is the ambitious notion of total independence from fossil fuels from federal buildings by the year 2030. This was made possible by the 2005 policy with the starting requirement of 30 percent. I would argue that above all else, if energy efficiency is to spread into the private sector, the leaders being the federal government need to take the first steps, aggressive as they may be, to energy independence from fossil fuels. 

    2009

    Within the 2009 policy there are further references of continued federal building energy efficiency and a recognition of the government’s need to take the reins of leadership in regards to energy. 

    “Nearly $5 billion is provided for ‘leadership by example’ efforts to improve energy efficiency in federal buildings and facilities” (Sissine et al. 2).

    Therefore, while the 2005 and 2007 policies created the framework in percentages for increased efficiency in federal buildings, the 2009 policy created a budget for this endeavor to thrive. This issue stems beyond privatized business, however, with initial plans already in the testing phase within the military. Pending their successful implementation, I hope that there will be continued policies in the same direction because I believe that an increase in energy efficiency through the federal government is one of the best ways to inspire private facilities to do the same. 

    Proposal to the UN for the future

    It is obvious that the continued food supply to an ever-increasing population is at risk because of current standards. The environment is responding to the outdated and destructive energy policies. For example, the Pacific Ocean is heating at a rate of 15 times higher than normal (Adler 1). Additionally, and according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),

    “this year is the seventh warmest since records began in 1850” (Doyle 1).

    In order to combat this problem of global warming and to prevent potential issues with food supply, more importance must be placed upon food and water security as well. Considering these issues, clearly there must be some changes in energy policy that all countries within the UN need to agree upon. 

    Carbon tax

    The first policy I would like to propose is a global requirement of the carbon tax. This is a great way to encourage businesses in the direction of energy efficiency because the carbon tax is a direct tax on the usage of fossil fuels. It would also help to battle the growing threat of global warming. The way this would work is every company would have an allotted carbon footprint based upon their size and their industry. This would make the implementation of the carbon tax on a global scale very realistic and customized. 

    Expansion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

    The second policy I propose is an expansion on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as a working model to all UN member countries. This act would be used as a blueprint for all other countries comparable to the United States in structure. While this act is not by any means a one size fits all policy, it is a good starting point. The United States currently has a goal of being 100 percent energy efficient in the federal government by 2030, all other UN member countries that are not currently 100 percent energy efficient would be analyzed and provided with their respective goals for this level of efficiency. 

    Further tax credits

    Finally, the third policy I propose is an implementation of government tax credits to corporations with the highest energy efficiency ratings in adherence to U.S. environmental policies as monitored by the EPA in the United States and by equivalent agencies in other UN member countries. This policy, combined with the first policy on the carbon tax, would ensure healthy government encouragement in the right direction within the private sector for energy efficiency. 

    Conclusion

    The energy within the world is shared. It is a struggle to develop tax codes and policies that help businesses find productive paths to energy efficiency without losing the realistic approach of getting there. As stated, tax incentives are preferable to government forced polices because this latitude gives businesses more freedom in their decisions and ultimately the future of that specific business. Further, the energy policies of 2005, 2007 and 2009 are building blocks to what will hopefully become complete energy efficiency within the federal government. The work has just begun and there needs to be follow up policies implemented to reach this goal. Finally, energy efficiency is a global effort and needs to be channeled through the UN through realistic tax codes and customizable policies for individual countries. These joint efforts should provide solutions needed to tackle the problem of energy.

    Works Cited

    Adler, Ben. "The Pacific Ocean Is Now Warming 15 Times Faster Than It Used to." Grist. Grist Magazine, 31 Oct. 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. <http://grist.org/climate-energy/the-pacific-ocean-is-now-warming-15-times-faster/?utm_source=syndication&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed>.

    "Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)." DSIRE Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. North Carolina State University, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. <http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=US02F&ee=0>.

    Doyle, Alister. "2013 Is Seventh Hottest Year, Rising Seas Worsen Typhoon." Planet Ark. Thomson Reuters, 14 Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. <http://planetark.org/wen/70366>.

    "EPAct 05, E.O. 13123, E.O. 13423 EISA 07 Summary/Crosswalk." Sustainability Army Military. N.p., 31 Jan. 2008. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. <http://www.sustainability.army.mil/resources/libdocs_committee/31_jan_2008/Encl%205-EISA07-EPACT05-EO13423-Public.pdf>.

    Goldenberg, Suzanne. "Just 90 Companies Are Responsible for Two-Thirds of Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Grist. Grist Magazine, 20 Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. <http://grist.org/climate-energy/just-90-companies-are-responsible-for-two-thirds-of-greenhouse-gas-emissions/?utm_source=feedly>.

    "Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC)." DSIRE Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. North Carolina State University, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. <http://dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=US13F>.

    Sissine, Fred, Anthony Andrews, Peter Folger, Stan M. Kaplan, Daniel Morgan, Deborah D. Stine, and Brent D. Yacobucci. "Energy Provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5)."Congressional Research Service. Congressional Research Service, 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 15 Dec. 2013. <http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/121927.pdf>.

     
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