In this entry: quotes, warm up questions, discussion questions, resources
This video shows some of the energy conservation innovations being developed and used by professors at Carnegie Mellon University. With oil prices so high, these technologies are receiving new attention as more companies are making efforts to cut their energy costs.
Some economists say that high oil prices are essential in encouraging energy conservation, and are a blessing in disguise. Even a small drop in the prices could take the momentum out of alternative energy and conservation research.
This video illustrates how market factors and high oil prices can provide a monetary incentive to be more green.
"[High oil prices are] great news, because that's the catalyst that you need for us to put more investment into environmentally friendly solutions." - Deborah Lange, engineer at Carnegie Mellon University
"If we were to adopt the efficiencies of Northern Europe and the lifestyles of Northern Europe, we could cut our energy use in half."- Lester Lave, economist at Carnegie Mellon University
"You could just have a tax on imported oil, so that, whenever imported oil fell below a level, then this tax would kick in, so that, for example, if the oil ever did fall to $10 a barrel, then you could have a tax which would bring it up to, say, $50 a barrel." -Lester Lave, economist at Carnegie Mellon University
Have high oil prices had an effect on you or your activities? How have most people in your community responded to the high gas prices?
What are the pros and cons of high oil prices? In general does the good outweigh the bad, or vice versa?
Do you think Americans are willing to make sacrifices to reduce their energy use? Are there some technologies or conveniences they would not be wiling to give up?
What do you think of the idea of a price floor for foreign oil, so that it would never drop below a certain price? Would this work as a way to keep people interested in energy conservation? Why or why not?
Transcript of this report
Online NewsHour Alternative Fuels page
Related NewsHour report: As Oil Prices Rise, Carmakers Look to Electric Future
Lesson Plan: Automobile Choices and Alternative Fuels