Sugar cane harvester

Rona Fried is the CEO of SustainableBusiness.com, a news, networking, and investment site for green business, including a green jobs service and a green investing newsletter. The following opinions expressed are her own.

We are in a dire situation. One that our president recognized in his oval office address on Tuesday night: America has postponed overcoming our oil addiction for decades. The first call to wean ourselves from oil came more than three decades ago by President Carter in the late 1970s. Had we done it then, the job would have been completed in 1985. It is beyond time to end our dependence on oil. And Americans are finally ready to do it.

Recent polls say Americans want the government to prioritize renewable energy. One conducted by Benenson Strategy Group found that 63% of voters support an energy bill that limits pollution and encourages companies to use and develop clean energy.

Why, then, is the energy bill languishing in the Senate? The House approved a bill a year ago, and versions have passed in Senate committees. It’s time for a Senate vote. But like every single bill since Obama has entered office, Republicans have filibustered it, forcing 60 votes for passage instead of a simple majority.

Those 60 votes are nowhere to be found because conservative Democrats and all Republicans are against the bill. How can that be if the majority of Americans are in favor of it?