Just as the original space race was a muscular assertion of the supremacy of American enterprise and industry, this new space resource scramble is motivated by the need to reduce reliance on our totalitarian adversaries. We were first to the moon to show the world that socialism is not the way. Now, we could be first to mine the stars, to put cleaner cars on our roads.
Investment is needed in ingenious solutions to the existing pollution problem, and preventative strategies to ensure we can keep necessary living standards affordable for consumers, while reducing the intrusion of crude by-products into landfills, lakes, and dinner-plates.
Wind, solar, fission, and fusion must all comprise contributions to a carbon-neutral energy sector. But the government must not be in the business of monopolistically picking which companies or technologies will come out on top. Come rain or shine, renewables must be left to succeed or fail on their own merits.