New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence

The idea is simple. It has been done twice before. First during WWII when the US was able to develop an atomic weapon and again when we put a man on the moon. Both times the US gathered the best of the best to tackle the problem and both times a solution was obtained. So this is what Congressman Randy Forbes of Virginia is proposing in his ‘New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence’.

Congressman Forbes suggests three solutions to the current oil crisis. Dig for more crude, conserve or develop alternatives. One would think that this is obvious, which it is. But the obvious appears to be only being made by the American people and not Congress. One can see why Congress has a 9% approval rating, which is well deserved.

On Congressman Forbes’s website he states:

Just this week I introduced a bold initiative that will undoubtedly challenge the United States in a significant way. If the goals of this initiative are met, it will get at the very core of our energy problem and we will be an energy independent nation. The “New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence” challenges the United States to achieve 50% energy independence in ten years and 100% energy independence in 20 years. To achieve this goal, the New Manhattan Project will bring together the best and brightest scientists in our nation in a competitive format to effectively research one of seven established energy goals and will award significant prizes to any group, school, team, or company who reaches the goal. Any American citizen can participate, and the first person to meet the goals as determined by a New Manhattan Project commission of scientists will receive the respective prize. These goals are not easy. The processes to reach them are not simple. And many Americans may think them impossible. But if we do reach them, we will move closer to energy independence and begin a new way of life in the United States.

Why the “New Manhattan Project”? First, because it will inspire a new generation of math, science, and engineering students, scientists, and researchers to overcome a common national challenge. Second, because it was the original Manhattan Project in the midst of World War II that brought together the best scientists and researchers to solve one of the most challenging scientific missions to face our nation – and by pure hard work and dedication to a unified mission, they succeeded. We can do it again.

Some may call it “unreasonable” and “absurd.” Some may say the task is too great and find themselves more comfortable pointing fingers and simply complaining. But I believe in the greatness of America and the American people, and I know that greatness finds its birth in our values and our refusal to quit. Perhaps the New Manhattan Project will write a new page in our history books reflecting once again that the size of our accomplishments is only limited by the size of our doors.    

It is refreshing to finally see at least one of our political leaders who is actually taking the oil crisis problem seriously. What is disturbing is that neither McCaine nor Obama  have mentioned this proposal, nor have they mentioned supporting such an initiative.

It is time for the American people to push our leaders into supporting what appears to be a start in the right direction. The US needs to break the hold that the oil producing nations have over us and to cut back on the $700 billion dollars we seen to them each year.

The choice is ours. We can continue to do nothing or try a new approach.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


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I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.


    I believe that one of McCains campaign “promises” is to offer something like 300 million to someone who comes up with a solution…..

  • Jim Thomson

    I really appreciate the effort that Congressman Forbes is making. It really requires drilling AND alternate sources of energy.

    Actually, I think we are closer today at actually achieving Energy Independence since the 1970–so I only wonder if a ‘Manhattan Project’ is really necessary. With the improvements in photovoltiacs and in wind turbines, if we could find ways to spur investment in them that could well do the job. The closest I have seen that goal articulated is in the Pickens Plan (which I think might be under-ambitious).

    If we can save or enhance tax credits for investments in clean energy technology (ie CNG, solar, and wind, to list the most promising), and intelligently cut red tape binding utilities and consumers that could go even a longer way toward achieving independence from both present and future Amdinajads (sic) and Chavezes.

  • Ebru Ulufer

    Thank you for this blog. I have created my signature on Wisestamp but but it says I cannot insert my signature to my emails unless I upgrade to “Pro”. If this is the case, what is the point in having a free account?