With the Senate voting today to move along energy legislation, we're seeing a strong push to dirty up the bill in ways that benefit the fossil fools crowd. Those who support this carbon-heavy, polluter-friendly path like to highlight the need for a so-called all of the above approach to energy. Let's face it, that's some slick slogan which no doubt seems to some a reasonable strategy to address America's energy needs.
But what people have to realize is that those clamoring for "all of the above" on energy really want "all of the below" -- that is, they want to drill, dig and burn dirty and dangerous fossil fuels that reside underground like oil, coal and uranium (for nuclear power). If you want to be literal about it, those of us who favor shifting the nation away from dirty energy to invest in clean alternatives are the ones who really support "all of the above" energy -- after all, that's where you find the wind and the sun. (Of course, geothermal energy balances out the portfolio quite nicely too.)
The urgency of climate and national security concerns means that we simply cannot afford the same old dirty business as usual. We must break the stranglehold that has allowed Big Oil, Big Coal and the Nuke Boys to dictate America's energy policy. Such stale, short-sighted energy policies will hurt our economy and our environment and leave all of us stuck paying too much to fill our tanks and to heat our homes.
Let's get serious: Clean energy is safe, cheap, and won't ever run out. It will make America stronger and cleaner, create more manufacturing jobs, and keep more cash in our pockets. And it certainly won't cook the planet.
So, as you're enjoying the beach this summer remember that we don't need more drilling. In fact, we need to move as fast and as far away from dirty fuels of the 19th century that keep us dependent on foreign oil and threaten our prosperity every time oil companies arbitrarily decide to raise prices -- which they're doing again right now, just in time for the Fourth of July.
Sure, the oil industry talks a good game about how we need "all of the above" but never forget that Exxon Mobil makes its record profits by selling one of the above: oil from Saudi Arabia. Hey, that's a great business strategy for the oil giants but oil dependence is a dangerous strategy for America.
The solution is to make a clean break to the safe, natural fuels of the 21st century. Here's why:
A) American innovation can bring us the technology that saves us money and saves the planet
B) We can break our dangerous addiction to oil and help prevent the worst effects of climate change
C) We need to start exporting clean energy instead of jobs
D) All of the Above
This post originally appeared on NRDC's Switchboard blog.