At this vital juncture in our country's history, it's clear that we must take climate change seriously. America is spending more than $200,000 per minute on foreign oil -- $13 million per hour. More than $25 billion a year goes for Persian Gulf imports alone. Our dependence upon oil, especially foreign oil, affects not only our economy but our national security.
We must take real steps to end our reliance on foreign oil. At last night's presidential debate, I was pleased to hear Senator Obama say that energy independence will be the number one priority of his administration.
We must follow words with action.
In San Francisco, we are establishing this new green economy while reducing our dependence on foreign oil, slashing the amount of greenhouse gases being released into the environment, and creating new green collar jobs.
Last week, I announced that applications for new solar installations in San Francisco have nearly quadrupled since the city's groundbreaking solar rebate program, GoSolarSF launched in July. Ten workers have been hired to date and we expect the number to triple in the next month. With dedicated support from the next presidential administration this new green economy will take off.
Solar installation may be the most obvious component of green technology, but it is not the only sector. This new green economy also includes recycling, bicycle repair and landscaping.
San Francisco is creating and promoting green jobs, so we can ensure that the neighborhoods that were locked out of the pollution-based economy are locked in to the new green economy.
A clean energy economy will create millions of new green jobs that America desperately needs. Jobs that can't be outsourced. Jobs that use the skills of today's workers. Green jobs aren't just the jobs of the future -- they are the jobs of today.
Americans are ready for bold action. We can truly revitalize our economy with good green jobs, clean, renewable energy and a healthy climate. We must demand this new green economy. No more billion dollar tax breaks for the oil industry. No more drill baby drill. No more Persian Gulf oil imports. Energy independence is attainable in 10 years, but we must demand it from our leaders. We need to invest in America's future -- a green future. We need to invest in solar, wind, geothermal, wave and other green technologies. Our national security depends on it.