In recent months, we have seen some pretty historic shifts in America. After eight years of the Bush administration, we not only have a new President, but one of African decent. On an equally historic but less positive note, we have also experienced the lowest economic recession since the 1930′s. Amidst these momentous events, there’s something else bubbling under the surface – something just as important, but perhaps harder to define.
It is beginning to become clear that there’s something wrong with the way we are living our lives. We have been plowing through our natural resources as if there was no tomorrow, and it’s finally catching up with us. Now that peak everything is in sight, we have to make some changes. As we all know, change can be a scary thing, and for a capitalist society, change is especially unappealing if no money is involved. Unfortunately, no one owns the sun or the wind or other sustainable resources that could reduce our dependency on things like the ever-disappearing, environment-destroying, war-provoking monster we call Oil.
But just because no one will ever own the sun doesn’t mean that tapping into sustainable resources can’t be a profitable enterprise. We just need to change our thinking, our actions and our policies. So far, we have tried slapping Band-Aids over our energy problems. Talk about not sustainable. Since the way we think about energy is institutionalized, change is going to have to start from the bottom-up.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act is an example of a policy that attempts to get to the root of the problem. Why isn’t it just a Band-Aid? This bill will:
- establish a strong global warming pollution cap for electric utilities, oil companies and other large industries.
- require utilities to generate 25 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2025.
- promote green jobs and job assistance in new fields such as clean energy technologies and green construction.
- provide rebates to businesses to cover increased energy costs they may face in the short run. This cushion helps our companies remain competitive in the global market until other countries also commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There won’t be an easy or quick fix to our energy problems, but we need to start implementing this type of policy if we want to make some ground on the issue. We also need to get a dialogue going – as friends, as family, as a community and as a society. What facets of our energy problems do we need to be especially wary of? How can we best address the solutions? And how can we change an institutionalized way of thinking about energy?
The Energy and Commerce Committee has already passed The American Clean Energy and Security Act; make sure Congress no longer delays passing this bill by signing the petition today.