Our Leaders Are Blinded by Oil

In a column titled A Green Dream in Texas, Thomas L. Friedman suggests that patriotism means energy independence (excerpts below). Unfortunately, we are led by an administration who cannot see beyond an oil-dependent society.

Link: The NY Times

When it comes to energy and the American people, George Bush and Dick Cheney are guilty of the soft bigotry of low expectations.

No one has lower expectations for the American people than a vice president who thinks “conservation” is simply a personal virtue, not a national security imperative, and a president who can barely choke out the word.

But Americans are starting to lead themselves. The most impressive project I’ve seen is by Texas Instruments, which is building a “green” chip factory here in Richardson, near Dallas. T.I. is keeping 1,000 high-tech jobs in Texas by building its newest facility – to make wafers used in semiconductors – in a cost-saving, hyper-efficient green manner.

…In 1961, when President Kennedy called for putting a man on the moon, he didn’t know how – but his vision was so compelling, his expectations of the American people so high, that they drove the moon shot well after he died. The Bush-Cheney team should be inspiring our generation’s moon shot: energy independence. But so far all they’ve challenged Americans to do is accept a tax cut.

So hats off to the leaders of T.I. Thanks to their vision, Dallas – not China – has the newest T.I. wafer plant, a new investment in education and a great example of how a green factory can be efficient and profitable and can create good American jobs in the 21st century.

Energy guzzling is for defeatists. Real Americans – and real Texans – build green.