The Democratic Call for a New Energy Economy

The Democrats call for a new energy economyAs the moment of truth approaches for the Democratic Convention with the arrival tomorrow of Senator Barack Obama to accept the nomination for president of the United States, one theme repeatedly expressed from speakers throughout the convention has been the expectation for Obama to build a new energy economy.

Following is a sampling of the call from the collected masses:

Senator Hillary Clinton said

We need to elect Barack Obama because we need a president who understands that America can’t compete in a global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators, while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas. We need a president who understands that we can’t solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in new technologies that will build a green economy”

Former Virginia Governor Mark Warner told delegates that the policies of George Bush has brought

Two wars, a warming planet, an energy policy that says let’s borrow money from China to buy oil from countries that don’t like us. Look at energy. If we actually got ourselves off foreign oil, we can make our country safer. We’ll start to solve global warming. And with the right policies, within 24 months, we’ll be building 100 mile-per-gallon plug-in hybrid vehicles right here – with American technology and with American workers.”

California Senator Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said

When I took the gavel from the former chairman, I told him that ‘elections have consequences.’ When we win in November, we’ll prove it. Instead of protecting polluters, we’ll protect our families. Instead of ignoring the experts, we’ll fight global warming. Instead of facing Republican roadblocks, we’ll have a Democratic majority large enough to ensure healthy communities.

Instead of a president with an Exxon policy, we’ll have a president with an energy policy. This November, we can’t afford more of the same. Let’s elect Barack Obama so that the world’s economic and environmental leader will clearly be our nation – the United States of America.”

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington said that voters in her state

…know it’s time for a president who will make energy independence America’s top priority. After eight years of skyrocketing gas prices, eight years of families spending more and more of their paychecks at the pump, and eight years of two former oil men catering to big oil’s agenda, it’s time for a new energy day in America,” said Cantwell. “One that makes energy more efficient and renewable, creating millions of high-wage jobs. One that allows families to spend more of their precious dollars raising children, instead of boosting oil company profits.”

Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer devoted his entire speech to the urgent need for solving the growing energy crises and the need to elect Obama to begin the process of creating a new energy economy:

We face a great new challenge, a world energy crisis that threatens our economy, our security, our climate and our way of life. And until we address that energy crisis, our problems will only get worse. For eight long years, the White House has led us in the wrong direction.

After eight years of a White House waiting hand and foot on big oil, John McCain offers more of the same. At a time of skyrocketing fuel prices, when American families are struggling to keep their gas tanks full, John McCain voted 25 times against renewable and alternative energy. Against clean biofuels. Against solar power. Against wind energy.

Schweitzer blamed McCain for taking

…more than a million dollars in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry,” and for proposing to “give the oil companies another four billion dollars in tax breaks.

Right now, the United States imports about 70 percent of its oil from overseas. At the same time, billions of dollars that we spend on all that foreign oil seems to end up in the bank accounts of those around the world who are openly hostile to American values and our way of life. CO2 emissions are increasing global temperatures, sea levels are rising and storms are getting worse.

Barack Obama knows there’s no single platform for energy independence. It’s not a question of either wind or clean coal, solar or hydrogen, oil or geothermal. We need them all to create a strong American energy system, a system built on American innovation.

In Montana, we’re investing in wind farms and we’re drilling in the Bakken formation, one of the most promising oil fields in America. We’re pursuing coal gasification with carbon sequestration and we’re promoting greater energy efficiency in homes and offices.

Barack Obama understands the most important barrel of oil is the one you don’t use”

Governor of Iowa Chet Culver told delegates that the most important challenge America faces is

…securing our energy future.

“For the last eight years, the big oil companies and their Washington lobbyists have literally written our national energy policies. They have made billions, while the rest of us are stuck paying the bill,” said Culver.

“Now the oil companies are placing their bets on John McCain, bankrolling his campaign, and gambling with our future. McCain has voted against tax credits for renewable energy 11 times, and his only idea to solve our energy crisis is to keep doing what we’re doing, as we watch prices go up and up and up.”

If anyone still doubts whether renewable energy can lower prices and create jobs, look no further than Iowa. We have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable energy, created more than 100,000 good-paying jobs and provided clean alternatives to overpriced, foreign oil.”

Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio declared this election as a “wake up call for America”.

Wake up, America. In 2001, the oil companies, the war contractors and the neo-con artists seized the economy and have added four trillion dollars of unproductive spending to the national debt. We now pay four times more for defense, three times more for gasoline and home heating oil and twice what we paid for health care while all the president’s oilmen are maneuvering to grab Iraq’s oil.

Wake up, America. We went into Iraq for oil. The oil companies want more. War against Iran will mean $10-a-gallon gasoline. The oil administration wants to drill more, into your wallet.

Wake up, America. This is not a call for you to take a new direction from right to left. This is call for you to go from down to up,” Kucinich said. “Up with creating millions of good paying jobs, rebuilding our bridges, ports and water systems. Up with creating millions of sustainable energy jobs to lower the cost of energy, lower carbon emissions and protect the environment.”

Finally, Dave Gipp, a Hunkpapa/Lakota Native American from the Standing Rock Lakota-Dakota Nation and president of United Tribes Technical College in Bismark North Dakota told convention delegates that he stand as one of

…thousands of tribal citizens who support Senator Barack Obama for accepting tribal nations and their citizens into the future he sees for America.

We’re not another special interest group trying to claim a share of the American pie. We are, after all, the first Americans. We paid for our place with land and blood. Our status as sovereign tribal nations is specially recognized in the U.S. Constitution.

Every step you take across this great nation, every vista you admire, every city you call by its tribal name, was once Indian country.

American Indians are still here and we’re seeking justice for our people. We offer the strengths of our spirituality and our connection with Mother Earth in renewing America’s promise for all.”

Source: Environmental News Network

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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  1. I was noting to myself just how many of the Democratic speakers had discussed energy and climate change, and was thinking it would be good to cull these items from their speeches. Thanks for compiling this.


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