From the X PRIZE Foundation, Tom Vander Ark looks at the somewhat indadequate steps of the recent Energy Bill, which he doesn't expect to be able to deliver either energy independence or sufficiently reduced pollution:
The recently signed Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 does little to improve independence or security. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a few small steps in the right direction but it’s not leadership, it’s bringing up the rear. By the time fleet averages are required to reach 35 mpg in 2020 the climate game will be lost. That’s about all we can expect out of a congress that is increasingly partisan and decreasingly able to address complex problems.
As is so often the case, solutions have to come from the private sphere. He lists a number of growing private efforts, including:
Prizes. A suite of X PRIZEs launched in the next 24 months will advance a set of compelling, difficult but achievable goals and will mobilize investors and entrepreneurs around the world to take big smart green risks. The results will include important breakthroughs, changed public perception, and reshaped markets.