Energy Poverty and What We Can Do About It
In most of the world, we take for granted the accessibility to hydrocarbons and the ways they enhances our lives. Yet, of Earth’s 7.4 billion people, 1.3 billion have no electricity, and more than three billion are defined as not having adequate electricity to meet basic human needs. For these people, energy poverty is a brutal fact of life. Over the course of a year, for example, the 19.5 million residents of New York consume about the same amount of electricity as nearly 800 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, US federal policy has severely restricted government investment in major sources of power that Americans take for granted. It’s a “do as we say, not as we do” policy that restricts projects that could provide fossil fuels to these needy people -- energy resources that have powered the prosperity of the developed world.