National Security Begins at Home
At Puget Sound Solar foreign policy is a grassroots affair where individual citizens lead the way.
Our nation’s strategic posture and defense spending is heavily influenced by our reliance on fossil fuels—and our need to ensure a steady flow of crude oil from producing nations to the West. With Iran threatening to close the vital Strait of Hormuz—through which 20% of the world’s crude oil flows—over sanctions targeting Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, our leaders are spending $8.72 million per day to keep two aircraft carrier groups operating in the Persian Gulf. But that is just a drop in the bucket when Big Oil's bottom line for America is tallied.
US military spending in the Persian Gulf and Mideast regions fluctuates between $30 and $75 billion per year–that’s as much as 22% of the Pentagon’s operations budget each year dedicated to ensuring foreign oil flows uninterrupted. Those numbers don’t include $900b in direct costs incurred by the Iraq and Afghanistan wars; last year’s $2.3b in foreign aid to OPEC nations; or the $8.1b in aid given to secure good relations in the Mideast and Persian Gulf in the wake of the Arab Spring. Nor does it include $4.2b in foreign aid paid by Washington to manage the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, thereby promoting regional—and economic—stability for America. Why pay so much for oil when it harms our environment?
According to Princeton University US Oil Market Power accounts for 7% of the US GDP—that’s some $1.05 trillion spent trying to slake our growing thirst for the world’s dwindling supplies of fossil fuels. But despite the juggernaut of oil interests in the US, investment in renewable energy outstripped those in fossil fuels in 2011.
And there are tax breaks and production incentives—at the Federal and state level—for citizens who want to change the way America does business abroad by producing energy at home. Purchasers of new residential solar electric systems are eligible for a full 30% federal tax credit on the taxes you owe for a given year, or subsequent year.
There are also state production incentives in Washington of $0.15 per kWh, or a whopping $0.54 per kWh for solar electric systems using made-in-Washington panels and inverters. Not to mention the benefits of renewable energy sources for the environment that sustains us. In other words, centsible energy means sensible foreign policy.
All without the cost of policing—and purchasing—the worlds oil supplies. Going solar—not just in our homes, but on the road as well—isn’t just Green; its Red, White, and Blue. Individual citizens now have the power to unilaterally take control of America's energy policy one house at a time, while peacefully securing our nation and our great way of life.
That brings a megawatt smile to our faces.