05 November 2008

Mr. President-Elect, Bring On the New Green Economy, But Be Practical

Now that the election is over and Americans have selected Barack Obama as our next president, it is time to get back to work.

I'm not going to dwell on the historical heft of this event; many people have and will.

Suffice it to say that, regardless of your politics, you had to be proud to be an American last night. We are truly the land of promise and opportunity.

And it is opportunity that I hope President Obama will focus on when he takes office in January.

Now is the opportunity to transform our economy from one based upon greed, deception, and pollution to one of green, transparency, and solutions.

We heard a lot from both candidates about the new green economy, a new energy economy, during the campaign. Much of it was aspirational and not entirely pragmatic.

As he moves forward with his plans, I'd like Mr. Obama to live up to this statement from his speech last night:

"I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree"

It is time for us to get a realistic path forward for the new green economy, which is the best way to turn this economy around and move America forward again.

But it is important to take pragmatic steps within the limitations of the current economic climate.

We need real answers about how Mr. Obama plans to move this economy toward its green future. The goals he outlined in the campaign -- 5 million jobs and $150 Bn -- may not be realistic in the short term.

But in tempering his ambitious goals, I hope Mr. Obama will stick to his guns on going green.

It is important to our future that we have realistic, measurable goals and strong leadership at this time -- now more than ever -- especially on alternative energy, climate change, and overhauling the financial sector.

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