Oil gushing out of the damaged pipe in the Gulf of Mexico could spawn an ecological and economic disaster of epic proportions. It is one of the many prices we in America, indeed all world citizens, pay for our addiction to oil. Global climate change, acid rain, urban pollution, oil spills, environmental damage and costly wars to protect the flow of oil to our country are the main symptoms of our never-ending addiction.
It is my hope that citizens, public officials, and even the business community will be motivated by this disaster to help wean our nation from oil and other fossil fuels. The first choice should be energy efficiency — dramatically improving the efficiency of everything from cars and trucks to airplanes and ships to refrigerators and televisions to homes and offices.
I encourage all of us to redouble our efforts to drill deeper and deeper to tap into the generous potential of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is far cheaper that developing new energy supplies and should be our highest priority. It allows us to have our cake and eat it to … to live well with a lot less waste. In the process, we reap huge economic savings — individually and as a nation. In doing so, we reduce the costly threat of global warming and acid rain. We can clean up our air and waterways and help reduce the potential for other major oil spills.