We're on the train home from a town hall meeting hosted by Operation Free - a coalition of veterans and defense organizations advocating for energy independence, a cap on carbon, and green jobs - all of which will promote our national security.
We heard from veterans from the Army, Air Force, and Marines, including a retired general. The connection between energy security, climate disruption and national security has been clear for a long time, but it's incredibly powerful to hear it from vets who have experienced some of the worst symptoms of our unsustainable energy system first hand.
It was also incredibly powerful to hear it from them as they stood in Faneuil Hall meeting hall under portraits of founding fathers and patriots.
The numbers were also compelling - we spend $1 billion on oil per day - we send $100 million to Iran every day. We are literally funding both sides of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the solutions are readily at hand. The American Power Act could cut those figures by 40%. What's more, doing so will drive innovation and investment, and create jobs - 200,000 annually according to a non-partisian study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics (pdf) - just what we need to complete the economic recovery - and that's not even accounting for "potential employment benefits of increased US competitiveness in clean energy exports, unlocking profitable investment opportunities in energy efficiency, and spillover from clean energy innovation into other sectors is not quantified in this analysis." -- which is where the lion's share of new economic and employment opportunities will come from!!
This is a long overdue move that is good for America in every way. The Senate has said they will vote on it in July, and unfortunately, we can be sure that the massive disinformation campaign waged by vested-interests will play on the fears of citizens in these tight economic times, and try to play this up as a tax, an economic drag, and a partisan issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. And groups like Operation Free, that are moving beyond partisan politics, are critical to ensuring that the American Power Act gets passed. Here in Massachusetts we need to do our part to let our new Senator Scott Brown know what an important leadership opportunity this is and how important it is to us.