Enough talk — let's be "energy independent."
You want timetables? Here's an idea that needs a timetable: Let's do it in the next 10 years. Just as President Kennedy challenged us to get to the moon, Americans need this goal and need to work together to make it happen. We need to be involved in our country's future in a grassroots way. What better way to fight the War on Terror?
We've all heard all the great plans to make us reliant on our own energy sources: fuel-cell cars, ethanol, cooking oil, building more refineries, drilling in ANWR… even nuclear power. While many are being worked on — and some have been shot down in Congress — it feels like this idea is stuck in the mud.
What if we had started a nationwide campaign in the days after September 11? A serious two-pronged strategy of offense overseas and defense here at home. A campaign that could be called something like: "Who needs 'em!" or "Fueling our OWN Future!" Okay, maybe I won't win the slogan contest — no doubt there are plenty who would battle for this public service ad campaign. Still, I wish we had built on the momentum right then to rid ourselves of what the president is now calling our "addiction to oil."
It might have helped to bind us together in what have become divisive times. Those who were against the war in the Iraq could surely get behind this idea. It is a peaceful and effective shot that would build a "can do" attitude and send a significant message to our enemies. Just as "Rosie the Riveter" inspired women to join the ranks to build the instruments of war in World War II — we need to be involved.
The president touched on these ideas today, but maybe his new spokespeople could work on a way to shout this one from the mountaintops. This needs to be a bipartisan bandwagon. I believe if every family is urged to do the little things — turn out lights, go from two SUVs to one or maybe buy a hybrid — we would be surprised at what America can do.
Perhaps, instead of cars bearing white oval initial stickers proclaiming devotion to a vacation spot, we could start seeing stickers that said: "Energy independent in 2012 — Get on board!"
Okay, I leave the catchy phrase to Madison Avenue. E-mail me your ideas.
See you tomorrow,
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