A couple of days ago, Sen. Barack Obama gave a speech about America’s need to get serious about our oil addiction and the risk it poses to our nation and our planet. Obama seems more interested in the economic and national security angle. That’s ok. As long as he mentions what Bill Clinton insists on calling climate change, that’s cool. (Note to Big Bill — “climate change” is a better phrase than “global warming” but it still sounds like something I can do in my car to adjust the temperature. What sounds better: “We need to act now on climate change.” OR “We need to act now to prevent climate crisis.” OR “We must urgently prevent climate catastrophe.” I mean, have you seen An Inconvenient Truth?!)

Anyway, Obama is like the opposite of African-American politicians like Bobby Rush and Al Wynn. We need more stand-up guys like him in Congress looking out for us, instead of number one, naw mean?

Here’s text from his speech earlier this week:

For years, Al Qaeda has been trying to attack Middle Eastern oil refineries as a way to wreak havoc on the U.S. economy. Osama bin Laden himself has said, “Focus your operations on oil, especially in Iraq and the Gulf area, since this will cause them to die off [ontheirown].” In the past, even minor attacks have caused global prices to jump $2 per barrel in a single day. And a former CIA agent tells us that if terrorists ever succeeded in destroying an entire oil complex, it could take enough oil off the market to cause financial catastrophe in America.

More than anything else, headlines like these represent a realization that goes far beyond the temporary rise and fall of gas prices. It’s a realization that for all of our economic dominance – for all of our military might – the Achilles heel of the most powerful country on Earth is the oil we cannot live without.

The President knows this. That thousands of autoworkers are losing their jobs. That we spend $18 million on foreign oil ever hour. That our climate is changing and global temperatures are rising.

And yet, for someone who talks tough about defending America, actually solving our energy crisis seems to factor pretty low on the President’s agenda.

And that’s because as much as George Bush might want to defend America, he also needs to defend his vision of government – and that’s a government that can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t solve great national challenges like our energy dependence.

That’s why the President’s funding for renewable fuels is at the same level it was the day he took office. That’s why his budget funds less then half of the energy bill he himself signed into law. That’s why billions of tax dollars that could’ve been used to fund energy research went to the record-profiting oil companies instead.

And that’s why it’s time to stand up for a new vision of government this November.

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