Power Without Petroleum (PWP) is an important campaign, launched by the Brave New Foundation. As you might know, this is the organization that brought us the excellent Rethink Afghanistan campaign and film.
There are two outstanding short videos that I want to share with you, created by the PWP campaign. The first video is called, “Stuck on Stupid: Big Oil Says NO To Green Jobs.” In this three-minute video, we learn that, if Congress supports it, we could create, in the next few years, 110,000 new jobs in the field of solar energy. The video indicates the numerous types of jobs that would be created. These would include, for example, jobs for sheet metal workers and jobs for civil engineers, if we construct wind farms and expand our systems of mass transit. The video points out that we could create 185,000 new wind energy jobs. In fact, the video notes, over the next twenty years, we could create over 37,000,000 renewable energy jobs.
Of course, to accomplish all this, we need to fund the research, development, and implementation of these clean energy solutions. How do we find the funding for this? Well, if we bring home our 100,000 troops from Afghanistan, we would find ourselves with over $100,000,000,000 that could be spent developing clean energy, creating jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, and reducing the deficit. As a matter of fact, for every soldier we bring home, we could create twenty-three jobs here at home. The war is illegal and immoral. It is making us less safe. Let’s end the war. Let’s bring our war dollars home.
Let’s not forget, of course, that there is really no shortage of the funds that are needed to create jobs and produce clean energy. The gap in both wealth and income, between the top 1% and the bottom 50% of our country is greater than it has been in decades. If we insist that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, we will be better able to create jobs, develop clean energy, and provide essential services to our people.
That brings us to the second video from Power Without Petroleum. It is called, “Drill Baby Drill.” This two-minute video does a great job of pointing out the huge influence that the oil companies have on our national policy decisions. British Petroleum, we learn, spent $16,000,000 lobbying Congress in 2009. The oil and gas lobby spent a total of $174,000,000 on lobbying in that year alone. The numbers presented are compelling. Mississippi Governor Barbour was given $1,800,000 by the oil and gas lobby. Congressman Barton of Texas took more than $1,400,000 from the lobby. Senator Vitter of Louisiana took more than $385,000 from the oil and gas lobby. Etc. Etc. The list goes on and on.
The planet is heating up fast. Millions could be displaced, and tens of thousands could die if we do not stop global warming. We need to rapidly transition from the use of fossil fuels to the use of clean energy. We need to stop the corporations from setting our nation’s energy policy.