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

By Jerry McNerney; Martin Cheek | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16
The Other Road

In the spring of 1787, America stood at a crossroads. Inside the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, in the same assembly room where the Declaration of Independence had been argued over more than a decade earlier, fifty-five representatives of twelve of the thirteen states met one May morning to begin a debate over the course the new nation would take after achieving political independence from Britain. Led by George Washington, these uniquely talented men deliberated for the next several months on the issue of how to successfully administer the complex management of their new country. Striving to find the best method of sharing power between the states and a federal government, they created the Constitution of the United States of America. With that great document, they sought to achieve something never before seen in all of human history. The framers of the Constitution understood that the words they penned would have a deep impact on the lives of millions of Americans who would follow in their footsteps. In their preamble, they stated their vision “to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Those words set all Americans on a course compelling us to preserve and protect our rights and freedoms and to ensure that the Founding Fathers’ great legacy passes down to future generations of our republic. American citizens have long and successfully safeguarded their inheritance of independence. Our history has seen several key moments of crisis in which it seemed in high doubt if the experiment of American

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