Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ending Our Oil Addiction


By Kathleen Rogers

When President Obama spoke to the nation about the Gulf Coast Oil Spill, he gave us needed straight talk for holding BP accountable and helping those affected by the spill. But, when it came down to talking about clean energy, he disappointed. This was his moment to say America needs a new investment in renewable energy and that it’s time to end America’s dependence on fossil fuels.

While Americans are all feeling the impacts of the spill, we have collectively failed to make the connection between our everyday oil use and the recklessness and negligence that led to the destruction we are witnessing now. Our consumption habits and antiquated infrastructure are exponentially increasing demand, creating an environment in which taking shortcuts on safety standards can prove to be profitable for oil and gas companies.

We need a structural shift to make our economy oil independent. This starts at the grassroots level by mobilizing our family, friends and neighbors to support federal, state and local solutions to our oil dependence. We need a clean energy and climate proposal that is comprehensive and ambitious enough to incentivize real energy independence. Even if Congress continues to delay, there are opportunities for change available at the local level. We need to promote state-based clean energy initiatives and engage local leaders to commit to clean energy policies to curb urban sprawl and promote oil-free transportation.

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