Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Honoring Gabrielle Giffords by Embracing the Green Economy


When it comes to the green economy, sometimes it seems like the United States of America is stuck in neutral while the rest of the world is fully charged up and racing ahead at warp speed.

Take electric vehicles as an example pulled from recent headlines. The Chevy Volt, General Motors' new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, recently became a political punching bag on Capitol Hill by a Republican-led Oversight Committee on a witch hunt against any project related to the Obama administration. Before it was Solyndra and solar energy, now it is the Volt and electric vehicles.

Lack of political will from Republican lawmakers in Congress is really the only thing that is holding back the United States of America from leading the "next industrial revolution"—the clean energy economy that is already rapidly transforming countries like Germany, Brazil, China, Canada and other governments that get it when it comes to giving the market signals with cap and trade programs and taxes on carbon. The fossil fuel industry seems to have the Republicans on too tight a leash for them to make decisions on behalf of the American people and the future of this great country.

Perhaps Gabrielle Giffords can provide some inspiration and convince at least some of the Republican lawmakers in Congress (the Obama administration and most Democrats are already onboard the high-speed clean energy train) that they must break the shackles of the oil, gas and coal industries and begin to embrace renewable power sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, biomass, biofuel, tidal and wave.

Giffords is a big advocate for solar energy because her home state of Arizona is blessed by the sun. She has supported clean energy legislation as well as ending oil industry subsidies and redirecting that money into clean energy research.

When Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) read Giffords' letter of resignation on the House floor in January, she said the following:

"In public service, I found a venue for the pursuit of a stronger America by ensuring the safety and security of all Americans by producing clean energy here at home instead of importing oil from abroad."

Here is video of the entire speech.