Let's Launch a Clean Energy Apollo Project

08/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Phil Angelides Served as Chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

The Apollo Alliance was launched in 2003 with the idea that we need a new Apollo mission that, similar to the Apollo moon landing, will restore America's technological leadership in the world and speak directly to the core values we share as Americans: our can-do spirit, our inherent optimism, and our enduring patriotism.

America's new Apollo mission will catalyze a clean energy revolution that will spur domestic job growth, end our reliance on foreign energy sources, curb climate change, and position our nation to thrive in the 21st century.

Forty years ago, Neil Armstrong's short walk on the surface of the moon fulfilled President Kennedy's bold challenge to summon the resources and technical ingenuity needed to win the space race. As we celebrate the anniversary of this historic human achievement, it's important to remember that Kennedy's ambition launched more than just a rocket -- it heralded a new era of job creation, modern businesses, and leading-edge industries that would propel decades of American economic progress.

Today's efforts to transform the way we power the nation rival the challenge and potential of the 1960s space race. With our economy in tatters, millions of citizens out of work, and a rapidly warming planet, it's time for Americans of all walks of life to unite around clean energy solutions that will create a new generation of good jobs and end our reliance on foreign energy sources once and for all.

The strength of this country lies in the extraordinary resolve of our citizens, even in the most trying of times. Americans never shy from a challenge. That resolve is being put to the test by an extremely well-heeled carbon lobby, but we will not waver. Four decades ago, America's manufacturers, inventors, investors, scientists and entrepreneurs rose to President Kennedy's challenge and ushered in a prolonged era of U.S.-led scientific innovation. By blazing the path to a clean energy economy, we can reclaim our position as a global scientific leader, save our fragile planet, and put millions of our citizens back to work in the clean energy jobs of the future.

We did it in the 1960s when we landed the first man on the moon. We can do it again now by sparking a clean energy revolution in America so profound that it will touch every quarter of American life.