Interstates May Be The Key

By: Jill Cordes
By: Jill Cordes

Today's interstate highway system covers close to 50,000 miles. It connects every major American city. In a new twist on an old, gas-guzzling theme, this existing network of roads could be used as the backbone of a clean energy economy.

In order to build America's interstate network, the government had to purchase and coordinate the use of "rights of way." So now, road beds and adjacent lands are already cleared and owned by the government.

This land could be used in the construction of a smart electricity grid. This smart grid could move power around the country from renewable energy sources like solar and wind without having to refight battles over rights of way.

The stimulus package already includes $8 billion for new high-speed rail lines between cities.

Construction of the interstate highway system was one of the largest public-works projects in history. Revamping the system to enable cleaner and more efficient options will take multi-agency coordination. But far easier since the paths are already laid out right in front of us.


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