Our Only Chance

The BP spill is our reality check—a reminder that the oil industry looks out for number one in the Gulf, in the Arctic, and in Washington.

Ultimately, the only way to break the industry’s hold on political decision-making is for America to shift to more fuel-efficient cars, more public transit, and other clean energy technologies. These are the solutions that will break America’s addiction to oil, create jobs, revitalize cities, and put more money in consumers’ pockets.

Right now, there’s much rancor in the halls of Congress about incremental versus sweeping change. It’s an election year, they say, and it seems self-preservation is the first stop in the decision-making process. So, citizen outrage and citizen action are our only hope for combating Big Oil’s dirty influence.

Now is the time when incremental change just won’t suffice.

Now is the time when bold vision and bold action are the only answer.

Now is the time to pass a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill that caps carbon and begins to end our reliance on dirty energy.

If Americans raise our voices strong and loud enough, we have a chance. And it’s our only chance, as far as I can see.

This is an excerpt from Robert Redford's article in the latest issue of The Progressive. To read the article in its entirety, and to read the rest of the special issue The Big Spill online, and to subscribe to The Progressive for a year—all for just $14.97—simply click here.

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