The convergence of elements relating to America's dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil represent profound and ominous consequences: expanding extremism abroad, compounded by indifference at home, both being byproducts of our dependence on fossil fuels:
- Deeply Entrenched Special Interests
- Increasing Fossil Fuel Induced Air and Water Pollution
- Unabated Nuclear Proliferation
- Intensifying Effects of Climate Change
- Looming Implications of Peak Oil
- Deeply Rooted Oil Dependence in Volatile Regions
- Escalating Middle East Tension and Conflict
- Increasing Global Confrontation over Decreasing Resources
- Mounting Environmental Threats via Mountaintop Removal and Oil Exploration
- Economic Volatility via Rising Fuel Costs
- Swelling World Population and Industrialization
Yet, when it comes to the precarious (fossil fuel induced) situation we find ourselves in today, as much as we may want to lay the burden of blame on the doorstep of Capitol Hill and the White House, the real problem lies in our own indifference and failure to hold our past and present leaders accountable.
Perhaps as a nation have we forgotten, democracy is not, nor has it ever been, a spectator sport. In the final analysis...we are response-able!
Since the oil embargo of the early 70’s, it has been an abundance of talk and scarcity of action by lawmakers and leaders, that has brought us to the precipice we now face.
Therefore, with a high degree of confidence, we can assume talk is not the answer, but rather action.
Throughout history we have seen the incredible change one person can bring about when totally dedicated to a cause; Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., to name a few examples. Likewise, monumental change also occurs when many dedicated even a small amount of effort to a worthy cause.
So, how do we as a nation get from here to there?
We must start by asking ourselves, do we care as much as we say we do. Do we care enough to make subtle the changes in our lifestyles indicative of foresight to take a different path, a sustainable path where our children and theirs can follow?
Do we care enough to pick up the phone…to send an email…to sign an online petition? Do we care enough to contact other like-minded people within our circle of influence to ask them to do the same?
In a few weeks time, a bi-partisan effort will be under way to produce a cohesive piece of legislation for presidential approval. The conference committee which will convene on or about September 4th to reconcile the Senate & House bills, will be debating hotly contested items.
Specifically, whether to require electric utilities to produce 15 percent of their power from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass by 2020 (today only 2.3 percent of the country's electricity is produced via renewable sources). And, to raise fleet-wide fuel economy standards for cars and trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 (efficiency standards have not been increased in over two decades).
Yet, each proposal is strongly opposed by the utility industry and automotive industry respectively, each having lobbied hard to defeat these initiatives.
Both measures are profound in their impact on reducing GHG emissions and reducing our dependence on countries that do not have our best interest in mind.
Thus, It is up to us to lobby hard for their enactment and provide congress with the support and political confidence to make the right choices!
Take the time now to contact your Senate & House legislators, and let them know you support the 15% renewable by 2020 amendment - as well as raising vehicle fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.
Let's use our collective power to lead our country to "greener" pastures.
Edison Electric Institute - call (202-508-5000) and / or firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlanta-based Southern Co – call (202-261-5000) and / or email
Ford Motor Company – call 800-392-3673 and / or email
General Motors Company – call 800-462-8782
Chrysler Motor Corp – call 1-800-992-1997 and / or email