On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy made a special speech to a joint session of Congress that has come to be known as the "Man on the Moon" speech. I cannot help believing that United States is in need of the "Energy Independence" speech for the ages.
As a nation energized by the possibility of energy independence, we should review this speech and read it in the context of what we’re facing today. As a nation, we’re on the brink of a political party-less and economic acceptance of renewable fuels as the norm. I hope you find my modifications acceptable.
- Now it is time to take longer strides-time for a great new American enterprise-time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in renewable energy achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.
- I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary. But the facts of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshaled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule, or managed our resources and our time so as to insure their fulfillment. (unchanged quote for the ages)
- For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us last. We take an additional risk by making it in full view of the world, but as shown by the feats of the state of Iowa and its leadership, this very risk enhances our stature when we are successful. But this is not merely a race. Energy Independence is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We tackle the goal of energy independence because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share.
- First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the year 2020, of delivering 90% of our energy needs from renewable sources. No single energy project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range independence from foreign energy sources; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate renewable energy technologies. We propose to develop alternative fuels until certain which is superior.
- Let it be clear-and this is a judgment which the Members of the Congress must finally make-let if be clear that I am asking the Congress and the country to accept a firm commitment to a new course of action-a course which will last for many years and carry very heavy costs. (unchanged)
This decision demands a major national commitment of scientific and technical manpower, materiel and facilities, and the possibility of their diversion from other important activities where they are already thinly spread. It means a degree of dedication, organization and discipline which have not always characterized our research and development efforts. It means we cannot afford undue work stoppages, inflated costs of material or talent, wasteful interagency rivalries, or a high turnover of key personnel. (unchanged)
New objectives and new money cannot solve these problems. They could in fact, aggravate them further-unless every scientist, every engineer, every serviceman, every technician, contractor, and civil servant gives his personal pledge that this nation will move forward, with the full speed of freedom, in the exciting adventure of Renewable Energy Independence.