When it comes to our energy future, it boils down to a simple choice: Do we want to be a declining nation tied to dirty, dying fossil fuels whose scarcity leaves us increasingly reliant on foreign suppliers which puts our national security at risk? Or do we want to be a nation of progress, an innovator of clean, renewable energy solutions that spawn new industries that create jobs here at home producing technological breakthroughs the rest of the world comes to us to buy?
We choose the latter. We believe America can once again be the world’s technological leader, just as we were through much of our history, when it was innovative thinking and not mere accumulation of personal wealth for wealth’s sake that was rewarded.
Last October, Congressman Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the Republican House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, said that “we [the U.S.] can’t compete with China to make solar panels and wind turbines."
Seriously? America can’t compete? Since when?
Republicans in Congress oppose bills such as the Make It In America legislation proposed by Rep. John Garamendi (D- CA), a bill that would create jobs and help America compete in the modern Clean Energy Race. Stearns and fellow Republicans oppose government subsidies for clean energy innovation and production while standing firm on $40 billion in annual subsidies to Big Oil, an industry earning historic profits and which no longer needs subsidies to survive and thrive.
Unlike our Republican opposition, we support bills like Rep. Garamendi’s Make it In America proposal. We believe America’s future will be won by boldly progressing into a new energy future, not by retreating into a dirty energy past. True, due to past inaction on energy innovation we remain, for the short term, tied to dirty fuels for much of our energy. That is why we must seize the opportunity to be at the forefront of new energy innovation before we become nothing more than a lagging consumer nation. And the time to seize that opportunity is now.
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