switchboard logo from NRDC

Related on MNN: Video interview with Robert Redford about the oil spill

In a powerful new ad released May 18 by National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Robert Redford describes with candor the true nature of the Deepwater Horizon crisis and calls on President Obama to show bold leadership on clean energy and climate solutions for America.

“The Gulf disaster is more than a terrible oil spill,” Redford explains. “It's the product of a failed energy policy ... one that puts oil company profits ahead of people and the environment.”

I agree with Redford that it’s time for a safer, cleaner energy policy. After nearly every environmental disaster in modern American history, our leaders have created new safeguards to protect us from further harm.

Redford believes the same should happen in the wake of the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “America needs safe, clean and renewable energy — not more oil spills.”

I couldn’t agree more, and I am grateful to Redford for urging President Obama to guide America to a cleaner energy future.

Bob has been an NRDC trustee for more than three decades, and he has always believed that citizens must play an active role in shaping our nation. If we want the president and our lawmakers to lead us into the 21st century, they need to know American voters are behind them.

And indeed they are.

According to a new poll conducted by Belden, Russonello & Stewart for NRDC, seven in 10 Americans say clean energy legislation must be fast-tracked in the wake of the catastrophic Gulf oil spill.

That widespread support was evident this morning when NRDC and our partners from labor, youth and other environmental groups gathered at the National Press Club to release Redford’s ad. We also unveiled an open letter to the president signed by more than 1,100 prominent organizations and individuals from all 50 states in support of clean energy and climate legislation.

The numbers are clear: Americans want safer, cleaner energy. Now we need our leaders to lead the way. It’s time, as Greg Sargent said in his Washington Post blog about Redford's ad, “to change the conversation on energy once and for all.”

This article was reprinted with permission from Switchboard.nrdc.org.