Policy and Water Implications of Energy Alternatives

As I began my junior year at Texas A&M after interning in Washington, DC, for the summer of 2012, I was given the opportunity to work for the Federal Relations Office of AgriLife. During my first semester on the job I was given the task of assisting in a paper involving the water economics behind hydraulic fracturing in the Barnett Shale. Upon completion of that paper, I was given the sole responsibility of preparing a similar report for the Eagle Ford Shale. The research involved in preparing these two papers sparked my interest in determining how water value economics could potentially influence policy at the state and even the federal level.

To briefly summarize, my research involves demonstrating the need for evaluation and analysis of public policy before enactment to avoid unintended consequences. To make that point, the energy policies supported by former President George Bush, President Barack Obama, and Congress will be evaluated. Basically, this involves a comparison of the overall case studies and national economic impacts of biofuel production. The null hypothesis is that policies supporting biofuel production will lead to further unforeseen consequences that will leave society worse off than before. As part of a secondary scenario, this paper will look at the viability of incorporating energy from shale fracturing as a possibility for future governmental support.

The potential of uncovering new information on a relatively unheard-of energy source coupled with information from a well-known energy source makes this research intriguing. I look forward to seeing the metrics in action as I go through the available information on alternative energy sources and attempt to conclude which source has the most value in the energy industry.

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