On Wednesday, President Obama addressed the nation about the energy crisis in a speech from Georgetown University. Although the president did mention climate change and the country's need for clean energy, he dismissed the opportunity to fight for such a future. He succumbed to pressure from industry and the election season by failing to address the urgent need for less dependence on fossil fuels like oil and coal.
Not only did President Obama miss the opportunity to reconstruct the energy debate, but he placed coal with potential energy sources such as wind and solar alternatives. Coal, unlike these other energy sources, pollutes the air with billions of tons of toxic substances such as carbon, lead, arsenic, and mercury. Not only did the president praise the use of coal and alternative energy sources concurrently, but he explained that the solution to the problem is more drilling. The unfortunate truth is that the reluctance to reduce our dependence on big oil is due to the fact that it would damage profits and CEO bonuses.
The president did acknowledge, however, that the constant change of these energy prices is due to our dependence on dirty energy sources. The solution is to find superior sources of energy, not increase the dependence on choices that hurt our finances, families, and the Earth.
President Obama desperately needs to stand up for a clean energy economy and climate action. It is not only our leaders, however, who have the power to enact change. We, as the people, need to stand united in the movement.