Energy | Ecotrope

Transmission: Another way the U.S. is falling behind

Ecotrope | July 8, 2011 2:15 a.m. | Updated: Feb. 19, 2013 1:37 p.m.

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I heard an interesting tidbit in Fresh Air’s interview with Fareed Zakaria about his new book “A Post-American World.” Zakaria told Gross that the U.S. used to be a world leader on many fronts. But now other countries are catching up: The world’s tallest building is Dubai, the 50 biggest factories are in China, and the largest oil refinery is in India. The U.S. is losing ground in patent creation and scientific journal citations, too. Among the most important ways the U.S. is falling behind, he says, is energy transmission:

“Probably the most important place we’re falling behind and it’s absolutely vital we catch up is digital and energy infrastructure. We like to think we’re the most advanced country in the world and we’re at the cutting edge and inventing the future. People would be surprised to know in terms of Internet speed, connectivity, cell phone usage we’re actually in the middle of the pack … This is going to be the economy of the future. Similarly in energy, the most important thing we can do easily but expensively would be to build a genuine electricity grid so energy could be distributed efficiently around across the country. Then you could produce it in 100 different way because I think everyone understands there’s no one silver bullet that can answer the energy question. And again there we’re not doing nearly as well as need to.”

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