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For decades, America has been providing lip service to the fact the country needs to find alternative sources of energy while using ever-increasing amounts of fossil fuels.

The oil embargoes of the 1970s were the first signs that oil and gas supplies were not limitless. Vehicle and building designs were retooled to reduce the amount of energy needed. Alternatives included solar power and shale coal oil.

With time, Americans reverted to driving less-fuel efficient vehicles. Homes and businesses used more and more electronics and other devices drawing higher levels of energy. Yet, the construction of new oil refineries and electric power stations has been stagnant because of overly restrictive environmental and pollution laws. As more and more energy is being consumed, the country’s generation capacity has fallen behind.

Now, America (as well as Europe) is having to share the limited fossil fuel availability with emerging industrial nations including China and India. The spiraling price for energy reflects the need for alternative sources more than ever.

The MTD has long called for a national energy policy that could sustain economic growth with environmental improvements.

The department supports its fellow trade unionists in calling for an immediate push for new sources of energy. One such program that has been proposed is the Apollo Project, which outlines 10 concepts that would benefit the country while providing jobs for its workers. Among the things it would promote are advanced technology cars, modernized electrical infrastructure and expanded renewable energy development.

As efforts like these take place, the MTD joins with its sisters and brothers from the United Mine Workers in developing clean coal energy sources. The United States alone has coal deposits that can meet the nation’s needs for centuries.

The search for new sources of energy to fuel America’s economic machine cannot wait any longer.