President Barack Obama gave his “rally round the flag” speech on Tuesday night on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Until the engineers find a way to fully cap the break in the pipeline that is spewing out oil—or a relief well is finally drilled and operational—there isn’t too much the president can do other than talk the usual talk about reducing this country’s need for fossil fuel and push for clean energy.
Every so often, politicians stand on the soapbox and sing the praises of clean energy sources, charging that investments should be made to finally break America’s addiction to the oil hidden beneath the sea or under the sands of the Middle East.
But while the U.S. has been talking about expanding the use of alternative energy sources, Communist China has been cornering the market on green energy, and is now one of the largest manufacturers of solar panels and wind turbines.
Once again, while our elected officials offer promises and rhetoric, China is putting its money where its mouth is.
The uneven trade policies forged by Washington politicians over the past four presidential administrations have put this country in the position of being unable to compete against the Chinese manufacturing machine.
The minute an American firm develops any new electronic gadget like microchips, computers, electronic toys or solar panels, that company sends its production across the seas to China and other countries.
The Chinese are stealing the solar-panel business out from under us, and the oil companies are taking advantage of this country’s inability to enforce regulations concerning deep sea oil drilling.
President Obama claims that America is up to the challenge of converting from fossil fuel to clean energy and has laid down the gauntlet by saying, “... the one approach I will not accept is inaction.”
He went a step further in proving his point by adding, “[t]he one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet. You know, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon.”
The only problem with this statement is that this nation no longer has the industrial backbone that allowed it to quickly produce planes and ammunition needed for World War II, and the moon and space programs have been severely curtailed.
While the president declared that this country has the “capacity to shape our destiny,” our elected officials do not seem to share a willingness to shape our import and tarriff laws to benefit the working people or the manufacturing base of this country.
The task of rebuilding our industrial base to jump-start the U.S. clean energy industry will require a major economic commitment and policy shift which many Americans are either afraid or unwilling to make.
President Obama is praying that “a hand may guide us through the storm toward a brighter day,” but he must not forget that God helps those who help themselves.
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