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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Declaration of Energy Independence - by Jack Coleman

PLYMOUTH, Massachusetts -- When in the course of modern events it becomes necessary for one people to assume greater control of their energy needs through indigenous sources provided by the Creator, a decent respect for humanity impels them to explain the rationale for their decision.
 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all sources of energy are not created equal, that some are endowed with indisputable flaws, most especially fossil fuels.
 
Among these are a fearsome toll in lives, restraints on liberty where oil is the only source of wealth, and thwarting of happiness through ever-rising energy costs.
 
That to secure freedom from dependence on foreign energy, governments are instituted by men and women, deriving their powers from the consent of the governed, and not from lobbyists in the fossil-fuels industry.
 
That whenever any form of government proves resistant to these truths, it is the right of the people to articulate that government's failure and to advocate new policies, based on the principle of self-reliance upon which our nation was founded.
 
Prudence will dictate that governments long established should not change for transient causes, such as a sudden surge in oil prices. And all experience has shown that people are more disposed to tolerate fossil fuels while their financial costs are modest than to right themselves by abolishing the dependence to which they are accustomed.
 
Such has been the patient sufferance of these United States, extending back more than three decades, to the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74, and such is now the necessity that constrains them through a worsening dependence on foreign energy. The history of our Nation's over-reliance on fossil fuels from abroad is strewn with missed opportunities and repeated folly -- all having as result the establishment of something akin to addiction for our citizens.
 
To prove this, let these facts be submitted to a candid world increasingly resentful of the American presence:
 
We account for only 5 percent of the Earth's population, yet consume 25 percent of the Earth's energy.
 
We refuse to increase fuel-efficiency for sport-utility vehicles, thanks to a legal loophole that maintains the fiction that most SUVs are purchased for agricultural endeavors.
 
We provide lobbyists from the fossil-fuels industry with undue sway in crafting energy policy, often in secretive enclaves.
 
We quarter more than 100,000 of our soldiers in the Mideast for our second war in as many decades to ensure the flow of oil to our country -- where much of it will be squandered. The cost of these conflicts has been a horrific toll in lives and injuries, widespread devastation, environmental havoc and economic upheaval.
 
We have long ignored the example of the Danes, the Germans, the English, the Spanish and the Irish -- among other peoples -- who are embracing wind power and other renewables, rather than the failed energy policies of the past.
 
At every stage we have petitioned for remedies; our petitions have been ignored or derided. Nor have we been wanting in our respect for our system of governance. Accordingly, we have warned our legislators that their failure to act in their constituents' best interests will probably end with their usurpation from office. They have been deaf to the voices of reason and environmental justice.
 
Therefore, we, the representatives of a voting bloc known as Energy Independents -- united in spirit across this Nation and transcending partisan division -- solemnly declare that these United States ought to be Free and Independent States; that they should sever allegiance to those nations from which we purchase fossil fuels that maintain despotic regimes over their citizenry; and that, as Free and Independent States, we have full power to provide for our energy needs, stop endless conflicts, contract alliances with nations worthy of our Founders' respect, establish commerce in renewable energy as a critical element in this endeavor, and do all other things that Independent States not beholden to sources of energy beyond their borders may do.
 
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of a Higher Power, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Good Faith, and our Sacred Future.
 
Jack Coleman is a freelance writer, blogger (www.windfarmersalmanac.com), and media adviser to the Cape Wind advocacy group Clean Power Now, based on Cape Cod.
 
� 2006 The Providence Journal
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