In Detroit this week, environmental leader Al Gore reminded us that elections matter.
“In looking back over the last eight years, I can tell you that we have already learned one important fact since the year 2000: take it from me, elections matter. If you think the next appointments to our Supreme Court are important, you know that elections matter. If you live in the city of New Orleans, you know that elections matter… If you care about a clean environment, if you want a government that protects you instead of special interests, you know that elections matter.”
One of the biggest differences between the Democratic and Republican parties is on the environment. Republicans still cling to the belief that the environment can be controlled. Democratic policies recognize the need to protect the environment — and they show how battling climate change can make the economy stronger.
The GOP has decided that the topic of discussion this week should be the energy crisis that Republican policies have created. While Republicans push for more tax breaks for Exxon-Mobil and other giant oil companies, and while the Bush/McCain war in Iraq rages on, the price of oil is dragging our oil-addicted economy down.
The John McCain and George Bush stupid solution to the problem? More of the same. The GOP has launched a well-coordinated media blitz (complete with rude exploitation of the late Tim Russert) to promote their great idea for more oil rigs off the coasts of Florida and California. According to McCain’s own policy advisers, this idea will do nothing to help reduce the price of gas. Add to that the obvious risk to some of America’s most beautiful beaches (witness the massive oil spill from an offshore platform on the Santa Barbara coast). And you can finish this Bush/McCain idea off by noting that we need new sources of energy, not more of the same (more offshore drilling). Even if we get some oil off the coast of Florida, it too will eventually run out.
The price of oil is going nowhere but up, and we need leaders with vision to get us off our addiction to oil. Fortunately, Barack Obama has a pretty detailed plan to do just that.