The aftermath of the environmental catastrophe that was the BP oil spill has finally opened many Americans’ eyes to their oil dependency and what it has done to the surrounding ecosystem and wildlife. In a multi-state “damage control” tour, President Barack Obama likened the ramifications of the oil disaster to the September 11 terrorist attacks – an “environmental 9/11” – on the nation’s psyche: “In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11, I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come.”
With public uproar pushing his hand, the president has begun an aggressive campaign to “change the way America produces and consumes its energy.” A pledge for a clean energy policy has entered the political lexicon, aiming to reduce Americans’ dependency on oil. “One of the biggest leadership challenges for me going forward is going to be to make sure that we draw the right lessons from this disaster,” he stated. “Our continued dependence on fossil fuels will jeopardize our national security. It will smother our planet. And it will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk… We cannot delay any longer, and that is why I am asking for your help.”
A prime-time television address will be made on Tuesday night by President Obama in which he will discuss his next steps and what his administration plans to do about the spill. With the public finally ready to listen to a clean energy legislation, wind, solar and hydro power are on the brink of getting a huge boost. Better late than never, one supposes. Already one of the best-performing sectors in the last few years, the long-term opportunities for clean energy are looking better than ever.