Tonight's late email from OFA (pasted below), and the perilous situation in which we find ourselves today, reminded me of a Star Trek episode (TNG) called Galaxy's Child. A large, vessel-like creature that inhabited the vacuum of space gives birth as the crew of the Enterprise looks on. The offspring mistakenly imprints upon the ship rather than its real parent. Then it begins to feed, taking in the Enterprise's energy and thus draining its power. At the climactic end, Geordi and Leah Brahms finally think to "sour the milk." They "add vinegar" by changing the power frequency to make it incompatible with the offspring's needs. Seeing its true family approaching, "Junior" spits out the bottle-in-a-ship and finds its true place and future.
The episode seems an apt allegory for this moment in history. In some respects, oil has served the human species well during this brief moment in time, that is, the birth of industrialization. Many of the achievements of society and much of the rise in the general standard of living has depended on what seemed for so long to be an efficient, manageable and abundant source of energy.
But now the milk has soured. Suddenly, it's clear, BP is not our mother. She never was. At best she is a wet nurse who does not want us to grow up, because then she will no longer have a purpose. But a real parent wants a child to grow up, to find her place and future, and become a mature and responsible adult. BP's polluted nourishment is now weaning us from the temporary and transient sustenance of our industrial infancy. Suddenly, we realize that now is the time to grow up. Now is the time to find our place. Now is the time to meet our future.
The BP oil spill is the worst environmental disaster of its kind in our nation's history. My administration has deployed every tool at our disposal for the response efforts. Thousands are working around the clock, including some of the top scientists and engineers from around the world.
We are working to hold BP accountable for the damage to the lands and the livelihoods of the Gulf Coast, and we are taking strong precautions to make certain a spill like this never happens again.
But our work will not end with this crisis. That's one of the reasons why I invited lawmakers from both parties to join me at the White House today to discuss what it will take to move forward on legislation to promote a new economy powered by green jobs, combat climate change, and end our dependence on foreign oil.
Today, we consume more than 20 percent of the world's oil, but have less than two percent of the world's oil reserves. Beyond the risks inherent in drilling four miles beneath the surface of the Earth, our dependence on oil means that we will continue to send billions of dollars of our hard-earned wealth to other countries every month -- including many in dangerous and unstable regions.
In other words, our continued dependence on fossil fuels will jeopardize our national security. It will smother our planet. And it will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk. We cannot delay any longer, and that is why I am asking for your help.
Please stand with me today in backing clean energy. Adding your name will help Organizing for America create a powerful, public display of support for making this change happen.
The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a new future. That means continuing our unprecedented effort to make everything -- from our homes and businesses to our cars and trucks -- more energy-efficient. It means rolling back billions of dollars of tax breaks to oil companies so we can prioritize investments in clean energy research and development.
But the only way the transition to clean energy will ultimately succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future -- if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed. And we can do that by finally putting a price on carbon pollution.
Many businesses have already embraced this idea because it provides a level of certainty about the future. And by pouring resources into research and development, by building new markets, we will reinvent our economy -- creating opportunities for entrepreneurship, for new companies and new jobs all across the country.
There will be transition costs and a time of adjustment. But if we refuse to take into account the full costs of our fossil fuel addiction -- and if we refuse to heed the warnings from the disaster in the Gulf -- we will have missed our best chance to seize the clean-energy future we know America needs to thrive in the years and decades to come.
The House of Representatives has already passed a comprehensive energy and climate bill, and there is currently a plan in the Senate -- a plan that was developed with ideas from Democrats and Republicans -- that would achieve the same goal. Today, I met with congressional leaders to determine a path forward. But this is an issue that Washington has long ignored in favor of protecting the status quo.
So I'm asking for your help today to show that the American people are ready for a clean-energy future.
Please add your name to mine:
President Barack Obama