The United States ought to be the leader of the world in the energy technology innovation that is needed. It has the largest economy, uses the most energy (and within that total the most oil), has made the largest cumulative contribution to the atmospheric buildup of fossil carbon dioxide that is the dominant driver of global climate change, has a large balance of payments stake in competitiveness in the global energy technology market as well as a large stake in the worldwide economic and security benefits of meeting global energy needs in affordable and sustainable ways, and possesses by many measures the most capable scientific and engineering workforce in the world. The actual performance of this country in energy-technology innovation, however, has been falling short by almost every measure: in relation to the need, in relation to the opportunities, in relation to what other countries are doing, and even in the simple-minded but still somewhat instructive measure of investment in energy-technology innovation in absolute terms and as a proportion of GDP, compared to the past.
Anadon, Laura Diaz, and John P. Holdren. "Policy for Energy Technology Innovation." Acting in Time on Energy Policy. Ed. Kelly Sims Gallagher. Brookings Institution Press, 2009, 89-127.