President Obama has correctly identified national goals for clean electricity and reduced dependence on foreign oil. Now we need the laws and policies to make them happen.
What we must have -- finally -- is a long-term, comprehensive energy policy that gets America off fossil fuels and makes us energy independent. A policy we stick with regardless of fluctuations in the price of oil or whatever type of energy is in favor at the moment.
But first we have to change the way we talk about and frame the issue.
For too long we have been fighting about greenhouse gases and global warming, about whether the oceans are rising and whether the science can be trusted. All that's gotten us is stuck and polarized. Let's face it, if we haven't convinced the skeptics by now, we aren't going to.
So it is time to move past areas Democrats and Republicans disagree on and focus on issues they see eye to eye on. Issues like economic prosperity, national security and the health and welfare of our people.
For most Americans, the biggest problem facing our nation right now is the economy and jobs. People are worried about the future. About whether their children will live in a nation that falls behind China and other rapidly growing economies.
From my experience in California, it is absolutely clear that a green economy is the way to keep Americans competitive abroad while providing economic growth and jobs at home.
Green jobs are the largest source of employment growth in California, with green tech jobs growing 10 times faster than other sectors over the last five years.
In California, we are building the world's biggest solar plants, the biggest wind farm. That will boost our economy with green jobs and it will protect our environment with clean energy. Democrats and Republicans can all support that kind of progress.
More than a third of the world's clean-tech venture capital flows into our state because investors know California is committed to a clean-energy future. Nations like China and Brazil are just two of the countries making big commitments to green tech. It's time America got into the game.
National security is another area where there is common ground. Democrats and Republicans agree our safety should not be compromised by oil. Turmoil in the Middle East saw a spike in oil prices. When Americans pay more at the pump, that's a tax -- weakening our economy and making our entire nation more vulnerable.
Most Americans agree it's not smart for us to send billions of dollars to hostile nations when we know some of that money winds up with terrorists plotting to attack us.
When President Eisenhower warned about too much dependence on foreign oil more than 50 years ago, our petroleum imports were at 20 percent. Every president since has voiced similar warnings, yet imports now account for more than 60 percent of our oil.