American Management Association
www.amanet.org
259
CHAPTER 16
The Other Road
I
n the spring of 1787, America stood at a crossroads. Inside the Pennsyl-
vania 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 some-
thing never before seen in all of human history. The framers of the Consti-
tution 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
American Management Association
www.amanet.org
260
e
AMERICA’S ENERGY FUTURE
independence might continue. But with an instinctive desire that democracy
and freedom must never perish from this nation, the people of previous eras
struggled against adversity and made the momentous sacrifices necessary to
keep liberty’s flame lit.
Now, we as a nation face another point of crisis in our history. The legacy
of liberty stands at stake. The question of achieving our energy freedom will
likely be one of the most significant issues the American people will tackle
in the twenty-first century. Because of the magnitude of the matter and how
it will impact the future course of American democracy and prosperity, we
would be wise to acknowledge that we have a moral responsibility to face this
challenge. The task set before us of successfully answering this question will
not be an easy one. It will require everyone who is a stakeholder to take part
and contribute to upholding the sacred gift given to us in the founding of
our nation. This responsibility requires us to maintain Americas rights and
freedoms so that future generations can savor the benefits that these ideals
bring forth.
Unfortunately, far too many Americans do not fully comprehend how
our lives, our families, our values, and our fortunes are jeopardized by our
continued dependence on fossil fuels. They do not truly see the dangers we
must deal with in the coming decades, from the national security threat;
the economic threat of competing with other nations for dwindling petro-
leum resources; and the humanitarian threat of disease, poverty, and climate
change. All of these dangers are directly influenced by the course we decide
to take in our journey to energy freedom.
A CLEAN-ENERGY NATION
From the start of the American story, our people have traveled on a journey of
heroic magnitude. We have long traversed on a continuous quest as we follow
new paths to enrich our lives with liberty. From our current vista point, we
look at the panorama of our vast history and see that our people have always
been striving for something better, something beyond mere mortal existence.
We have long sought the other road, the road untrodden. Our never-ending

Get Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America from the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.