Dear U.S. Citizens: If not Energy, then what?

You probably know by now that I'm a big fan of Thomas Friedman.  And his post yesterday in the NY Times titled, "Failure is not an option" is too good not to share.  The article is about the opportunity for the U.S. to take the lead on Energy Technology, but right now we are playing second fiddle to China.  Here's an excerpt, but read my comment afterwards!

I’d love to see the president come out, guns blazing with this message:

“Yes, if we pass this energy legislation, a small price on carbon will likely show up on your gasoline or electricity bill. I’m not going to lie. But it is an investment that will pay off in so many ways. It will spur innovation in energy efficiency that will actually lower the total amount you pay for driving, heating or cooling. It will reduce carbon pollution in the air we breathe and make us healthier as a country. It will reduce the money we are sending to nations that crush democracy and promote intolerance. It will strengthen the dollar. It will make us more energy secure, environmentally secure and strategically secure. Sure, our opponents will scream ‘carbon tax!’ Well, what do you think you’re paying now to OPEC? The only difference between me and my opponents is that I want to keep any revenue we generate here to build American schools, American highways, American high-speed rail, American research labs and American economic strength. It’s just a little tick I have: I like to see our spending build our country. They don’t care. They are perfectly happy to see all the money you spend to fill your tank or heat your home go overseas, so we end up funding both sides in the war on terrorism — our military and their extremists.”

Much of our politics today is designed to make people stupid, confused and afraid of change. The G.O.P. has been particularly egregious on energy and climate. I believe if you talk straight to the American people on energy and climate, they will give you the right answers, and, ultimately, the support needed to trump the vested interests and lobbyists who have kept us addicted to oil. Obama has all the right instincts on this issue. He just needs to trust them. If he brings his A-game to energy legislation, Americans will follow — and then maybe we can have a good century.

Obviously, I agree 100% on this.  If you are one of those who are going to scream "Carbon Tax!" in the face of the next economic engine (Energy Technology) I ask you, "What is your plan for the future?".  What is America going to be the leader in?  Manufacturing of durable goods?  High risk mortgages?  Derivatives?  What are we going to export to developing countries?

I'm all open for other ideas and discussion, but the world needs clean energy now, and I for one and not going to just sit by and let China provide it all.

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