Back in 1962, President Kennedy challenged the country to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, and by doing so he established a national objective for us to aspire to. We met that goal and won the space race. In the process, we created new technologies, industries, jobs, and promoted education in the process. Basically, it reinvigorated the country, bringing us out of the doldrums, and created a boom-time in business. It was a win-win scenario all around, but that was then, this is now. Today, the space program is considered passé and the country is experiencing economic stagnation. Frankly, we don't know where we are going anymore, except possibly in circles.
We should learn a thing or two from Kennedy's challenge and establish a new goal. Perhaps it should be underwater research, fix the national infrastructure, or devise a new rapid transit system. To me, the logical choice would be to establish energy independence as our national priority, thereby freeing us from Middle Eastern entanglements and economic extortion.
Such a national goal would invigorate education, particularly in the areas of geology, engineering, and mathematics. New technologies would inevitably be devised to access and cultivate energy resources. We already know there are huge reserves of untapped oil, gas, and coal in this country which we should capitalize on. Beyond this, there is the prospect of nuclear, wind, solar, and oceanic energies which we should continue to pursue. Whoever masters the energy resources of the world commands their own destiny. Currently though, we are forced to dance to somebody else's fiddle which does not bode well for our economic well-being.
4.3 billion barrels of oil have been discovered in Montana and North Dakota, easily dwarfing oil production in the Middle East. We are also sitting on a huge gas field in Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and Western New York. And let us not forget the other billions of barrels of oil in Alaska and off our shores. Such resources offer a golden opportunity to relieve our economic plight as exemplified by the current oil rush in North Dakota and Montana where jobs are aplenty.
The challenge, of course, is extracting the energy without harming our environment, which is why we need a national challenge to meet our demand without hurting ourselves. Like Kennedy, this requires presidential leadership which, unfortunately, is lacking at this time. The benefits are simply too numerous to overlook. A national energy objective would put the country back to work, promote education, research and development of technology, and free us from foreign entanglements which have plagued us for years.
A single clearly articulated statement of our national resolve could work wonders for us right now. It would give us a sense of direction and hope. There are countries who command gold reserves, diamonds and minerals, etc. Frankly, I'll settle for being the energy merchant of the world. Everybody else will be forced to fall in line behind us.
Keep the Faith!
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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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