Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America from the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels

By Jerry McNerney; Martin Cheek | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
A Declaration of Energy Independence

In the summer of 1776, America stood at a crossroads. Inside the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, the representatives of the thirteen colonies struggled among themselves in a debate just as hot as the heat wave then broiling the city. The members of the Second Continental Congress argued about the question of independence—specifically, on the issue of whether to cut the political cord tying nearly 3 million Americans to King George III’s despotic government. They sought to achieve something never before seen in all of human history. To explain to the world why the colonies were determined to be “absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown,”1 the Congress assigned five of its delegates to a committee set with the task of creating a document detailing the reasons the American people had a right to live in free and independent states. Serving on that committee was the thirty-threeyear-old Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian. His brilliant genius for forging lofty phrases captured the American spirit in the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s now-famous words, succinctly stating that ordinary people have the right to govern themselves and determine their own destiny, gave birth to a new nation founded on the principles of liberty and democracy. Ever since its creation on July 4, 1776, the United States of America has followed an often arduous but always rewarding road of constant protection and sometimes expansion of its citizens’ freedoms, rights, and independence.

Today, America stands at a new crossroads. Inside the halls of the U.S.

-1-

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