Sensible and daring, the Apollo Alliance has forged a broad coalition of labor, business, civil rights, and environmental leaders endorsing massive change in U.S. energy policy.
Named for Kennedy's 1960s challenge to the country to put a man on the moon in less than a decade, the new Apollo Alliance seeks a similar national commitment. The Apollo Jobs Report, released Wednesday, January 14, and timed to coincide and contrast with President Bush's announcement of a new space program, states: 'It is time for a bold initiative -- with the vision and the scope of the original Apollo program -- to end America's dependence on foreign oil and create millions of good jobs building the sustainable energy system of the next century.'
The Alliance -- with support from 17 of America's largest labor unions, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the NRDC and others -- is aiming for national support of a ten-year, $300 billion plan of investing in clean energy and new infrastructure. The Jobs Report includes a major economic study done by Texas economist, Dr. Ray Perryman, which shows that the energy savings and Treasury returns would more than repay the $300 billion investment. Further, the plan would create 3.3 million high wage jobs, reduce oil dependence, and raise American leadership in quickly growing sustainable energy markets.
Apart from the economic returns from such a plan, there are also environmental and social benefits. Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club, said, 'An Apollo Project can simultaneously address the threats of manufacturing job loss, global warming and our diminishing national energy security.'
A recent Alternet article by Adam Werbach, board member of the Apollo Alliance, shows the contrast to Bush's poorly-conceived space program. As Werbach writes, 'Bush is hoping to signal to the American people that he does not lack 'the vision thing' that was frequently cited as a reason his father lost his second term.' The Apollo Report stands in stark contrast to Bush's Bush's head-in-the-clouds attempt at vision. As Werbach writes, 'Bush's new space folly is the wrong signal to the world, and the wrong signal to the economy.'
What America needs is a president with the vision to do the boldly sensible thing. While the Bush's proposal looks more like the Apollo project of the 1960s the new Apollo Alliance looks to the future: building the economy, nurturing the environment, and seeking sustainability.