As inspiring as Michelle, and Ted, and Hillary were, what thrilled me even more, were the governors’ speeches yesterday. Governors like Mark Warner, Ted Strickland, Ed Rendell, Tom Vilsack, and Brian Schweitzer, who emphatically described their vision of a new American dream, largely fueled by bold energy and climate policies:
Here are some excerpts from Governor Schweitzer‘s speech:
A generation later, we face a great new challenge, a world energy crisis that threatens our economy, our security, our climate and our way of life. And until we address that energy crisis, our problems will only get worse. For eight long years, the White House has led us in the wrong direction. And now Senator McCain wants four more years of the same.
Can we afford four more years? Is it time for a change? When do we need it? And who do we need as the next President of the United States of America? That’s right. Barack Obama is the change we need!
Right now, the United States imports about 70 percent of its oil from overseas. At the same time, billions of dollars that we spend on all that foreign oil seems to end up in the bank accounts of those around the world who are openly hostile to American values and our way of life. This costly reliance on fossil fuels threatens America and the world in other ways, too. CO2 emissions are increasing global temperatures, sea levels are rising and storms are getting worse.
We need to break America’s addiction to foreign oil. We need a new energy system that is clean, green and American-made. And we need a president who can marshal our nation’s resources, get the job done and deliver the change we need.
That leader is Barack Obama. Barack Obama knows there’s no single platform for energy independence. It’s not a question of either wind or clean coal, solar or hydrogen, oil or geothermal. We need them all to create a strong American energy system, a system built on American innovation.
After eight years of a White House waiting hand and foot on big oil, John McCain offers more of the same. At a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, when American families are struggling to keep their gas tanks full, John McCain voted 25 times against renewable and alternative energy. Against clean biofuels. Against solar power. Against wind energy.
This not only hurts America’s energy independence, it could cost American families more than a hundred thousand jobs. At a time when America should be working harder than ever to develop new, clean sources, John McCain wants more of the same and has taken more than a million dollars in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry. Now he wants to give the oil companies another 4 billion dollars in tax breaks. Four billion in tax breaks for big oil?
That’s a lot of change, but it’s not the change we need.
In Montana, we’re investing in wind farms and we’re drilling in the Bakken formation, one of the most promising oil fields in America. We’re pursuing coal gasification with carbon sequestration and we’re promoting greater energy efficiency in homes and offices.
Even leaders in the oil industry know that Senator McCain has it wrong. We simply can’t drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain’s backyards, including the ones he can’t even remember.
That single-answer proposition is a dry well, and here’s why. America consumes 25 percent of the world’s oil, but has less than 3 percent of the reserves. You don’t need a $2 calculator to figure that one out. There just isn’t enough oil in America, on land or offshore, to meet America’s full energy needs.
Barack Obama understands the most important barrel of oil is the one you don’t use. Barack Obama’s energy strategy taps all sources and all possibilities. It will give you a tax credit if you buy a fuel-efficient car or truck, increase fuel-efficiency standards and put a million plug-in hybrids on the road.
Invest $150 billion over the next 10 years in clean, renewable energy technology. This will create up to 5 million new, green jobs and fuel long-term growth and prosperity. Senator Obama’s plan will also invest in a modern transmission grid to deliver this new, clean electricity from wind turbines and solar panels to homes, offices and the batteries in America’s new plug-in hybrid cars.
I am regaining faith in our political leadership. No matter what happens in the elections, the governors, and the mayors, and the senators, and the congress men and women, will take over. They understand what is at stake. They know that climate change and energy needs are not to be viewed as just bothers, but huge economic opportunities instead.
Do you share my excitement?