Rep. Ed Markey, writing in Grist, calls for an American “declaration of independence from foreign oil” on this 4th of July. He wrote, “The great American experiment still has battles left to fight, freedoms we must achieve. The call of this generation is to finally achieve freedom from oil by moving to a clean energy future.”
Markey cites the environmental devastation in the Gulf of Mexico, and the billions dollars that American spends every week to pay for oil from the Persian Gulf. He points to possible solutions like the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy & Security Act—that invests $190 billion in clean energy like wind, solar, and geothermal, and another $20 billion in advanced fuel-efficient vehicles like plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars and trucks.
Combine Waxman-Markey with renewable-fuel standards already in place, and Americans can save more than 5 million barrels of oil a day, more than we import from the Middle East and Venezuela combined, according to Markey.
Last week, visitors to the Washington Monument saw 10,000 American flags planted in the soil, arranged to spell out “Freedom from Oil.” The flags, which represent about 50,000 people who took action online, are part of the Sierra Club’s campaign to urge President Obama to create a plan to move the country beyond oil within the next 20 years.
Jonathan Powers, a veteran of the war in Iraq and chief operating officer for the Truman National Security Project, echoed the independence theme.
In his op-ed piece for CNN, Powers writes, “This year, as Americans across the nation celebrate July Fourth with barbecues and fireworks, those most responsible for defending our independence, the military, will continue to fight two wars. And it is a shame that we will let yet another July Fourth pass us by without making substantial progress toward ending our unnecessary dependence on oil, a dependence that is funding the bullets that our enemies fire at our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Powers laments that we have for years watched as billions of dollars flowed to hostile nations to pay for oil. He wrote, “It is time for us to stand on our own—to take control of our energy—with sources that will not threaten our security, fund our enemies or force us to ignore our values. The long struggle to live up to the challenge of our values has always been difficult, but today we stand at a clear crossroads between moving beyond oil or prolonging our dependence on it.”