Reinvent America

Few moments in history feel this monumental. It’s the feeling of renewed hope and immense possibility.

Barack Obama has once again tapped America’s power of invention. It’s the same power that led us to invent the first modern democracy. To invent the systems and technologies that continue to drive human progress. To constantly reinvent ourselves in the face of insurmountable hardship and division.

Invention is our greatest power — the very heart of the American spirit. It’s what can renew our promise once again and make this century the next American century.

Since its founding, the Breakthrough Institute has been a pioneering force behind the creation of a new progressive politics capable of capturing and unleashing this power to confront the world’s greatest challenges.

In 2003, Breakthrough made history when Michael and Ted co-founded the Apollo Alliance, leading the first calls for a New Apollo Project in clean energy. At that time, the Democratic leadership saw it as a pipe dream, and John Kerry’s 2004 campaign promised zero investments for clean energy.

We kept fighting. For the past four years, Breakthrough and our partners have continually advocated for a new progressive agenda based on bold federal investments in clean energy technology and infrastructure. Time and again, we’ve made the case that such an agenda can capture the public imagination, rebuild the economy, spark an energy revolution, and launch a new era of American leadership.

Our work is paying off. Today, we are proud to celebrate a new president who promises to make major clean energy investments — at least $150 billion, according to his plan — his single greatest priority. In a recent interview with Time Magazine, President-elect Obama stated:

there is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy … That’s going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office.

There’s not a moment to waste. Many will continue to insist upon high pollution taxes and hard carbon caps as a prerequisite to action. But there’s too much work to be done. Too many jobs to create. Too much infrastructure to rebuild. Too many clean power plants to erect. Too much research to perform. Too many students to educate

In the coming weeks, we will be arguing that President-elect Obama make his first two years in office about major investments, not just to stimulate the economy in the short term, but to reposition us as a global leader over the long-term.

This plan must be larger than “green stimulus.” We need to make sure that the early stimulus package builds a bridge to major investments in infrastructure, technology, and education over the long-haul. Breakthrough will also make the case for a new social contract, one that expands opportunities for low-income service workers to become higher-income knowledge workers, and improves health care. Please stay tuned and join us in this conversation about America’s future:

Obama has rekindled the American spirit. Now he must lead this nation to fully reinvent itself and the world — to lead us in what will be the greatest American project.

Let’s get started.

3 Responses to “Reinvent America”

  1. 1 Cascadia Brian Nov 7th, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    It is exciting! But I fear greatly that this money may not go to things that most of us would consider green. As much as we need green initiatives, we need strong criteria about what is and isn’t green. Otherwise, what’s the point?!?

    For example, Corn-based ethanol (one amongst many other half-baked ideas Obama has promoted) isn’t part of the solution, it’s part of the problem, and the last thing we need is more money for that!

    I hope people working on this strategy will keep that in mind!

  2. 2 Jesse Jenkins Nov 10th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Brian, your point RE ethanol is correct. Corn-based ethanol is a farm subsidy policy, not an energy independence policy. Biofuels can be done right, but before we get drunk on ethanol, we’d better be sure we’re not doing more harm than good. Unfortunately, this is one area I don’t expect to see Obama lead on, given his roots in Illinois.

  1. 1 Green Obama Dreams: Environment Bloggers Weigh in on The Historic Day | Current Savers Blog Trackback on Nov 10th, 2008 at 5:41 am
Comments are currently closed.

About Teryn

Teryn Norris is a leading young policy strategist and currently serves as President and Founder of Americans for Energy Leadership.

Community Picks