The tragic and ongoing Deepwater Horizon drilling disaster provides an opportunity to spotlight a path away from our riskiest sources of oil.
Today we’re issuing a Clean Energy Gulf Challenge to demonstrate how the United States can end both offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and imports of Persian Gulf oil.
It’s simply a false dichotomy to say that we must undertake dangerous offshore drilling or see an increase in oil imports from potentially hostile regimes. I know that people everywhere want to see a future that eliminates U.S. oil extraction from both locations, and we believe this Challenge will encourage the brightest minds to map out a bridge to that future.
I believe we can chart a course to increase the efficiency standards for cars and trucks, the production of sustainable cellulosic biofuels and the percentage of electrified vehicle fleets, as well as other measures to reduce America’s oil consumption, it would be possible to reduce our consumption one-fifth [or 20 percent] by 2020 in order to get our nation out of both the Gulf of Mexico and the Persian Gulf. We look forward to others sharing their insights and plans to get the United States out of the “Gulfs”.
Detailed rules and guidelines for the Clean Energy Gulf Challenge for individuals, organizations, and research institutions can be found on our website, and we invite all interested parties to consider a submission by the June 14 deadline.
This terrible tragedy is a teachable moment for all of us to realize that we have energy alternatives that do not place our coastal ecosystems, our workers or our national security at risk. We have an opportunity to turn tragedy into triumph by heeding and then implementing the ideas of expert thinkers to begin our transition to cleaner, safer energy future. We hope you’ll join us.
I’m confident we can do better now and for the future.