From Sea to Shining….Oil Spill?

This morning a distressing news item on the radio opened my bleary eyes in a hurry.  It seems Rick Perry has declared bold new plans for this country if he gets elected president.  I listened carefully to the story, but couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  He wants to aggressively drill everywhere except Florida…a key voter state, I guess.  He wants to roll back our hard-won clean air laws, and strip the EPA of their powers.

Nowhere in his statement did I see reference to stimulating the economy through developing renewable, clean energy sources.  That is where America can become a true leader, that is where jobs can be created.

When I read the story what struck me was the fear I was hearing between the lines of his statements.  He is associating our successes at reaching for clean water, air and soil with a stagnant economy, and I cannot let that stand.  The reasons we are in a economic mess are many, and yes, doing things clean can cost more in the short term.  I could point to the staggering cost of war, or the obvious result of cutting taxes while increasing spending, but I don’t want to digress here.

Let’s keep our eye on the prize.  Pollution kills, period.  The same old rhetoric about great jobs materializing out of drilling for oil is a lie.  We have achieved good standards of clean air and water.  These are great achievements of which we should be proud, and which we must uphold.  It is a mistake to use them as scapegoats for a weak economy.

We are a nation of courageous, innovative people.  I have spoken here before of business leaders who have found ways to not only run their businesses clean, but even improved their bottom line in the process.  Increasingly I hear stories of entrepreneurs finding ways to turn garbage into product, or to raw material for new product.  I see people in my own community experimenting with different ways to get around.  Popular demand led to a local bus service when it was thought to be impossible here.

Clean air laws are not stopping this country.  Fear is.  Let’s be the home of the brave, instead.

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