Project Free

Posted by: eric on July 24, 2009 at 11:20 pm

We call it Project FREE, because the four letters that spell the word serve as a handy reminder of the benefi ts the project will provide if successfully completed:


Freedom from dependence on foreign sources of energy that threaten to embroil us in wars and confl icts that could put our security and our future in peril.


The right of every American, and ultimately, every person on the planet to affordable and clean energy.


The incredible boon to global productivity, fi nancial savings, and wealth creation that will be sparked by the discovery of a permanent form of cheap, renewable energy and the infrastructure to support it, not to mention the industries it will create and re-create.


Renewal and preservation of our natural environment and a sustainable future for our planet, which will result from an end to the burning of fossil fuels and carbon emissions.

Project FREE is not incremental technology, formed to improve the 100-plus-year-old coal, gas, and oil platforms we use today. Instead, we will seek radical innovations that can completely free us from foreign oil dependence and the confl ict, environmental damage, and economic weakness it fosters. Conservation and improved use of current technologies are necessary but insuffi cient to create a future that takes mankind into its next epoch.

Project FREE must be a national program driven by the president, headed by an official with cabinet-level authority, endowed with 30 to 40 billion dollars in spending authority per year, and like the Federal Reserve, independent of partisan machinations. The mandate: to invent our way out of our energy dilemma within the next 10 to 15 years. Forty billion dollars may sound like a lot of money, but it barely equals one year’s worth of profit earned by a single multinational oil company. (In 2007, ExxonMobil posted record annual profi ts of 40.61 billion dollars aft er taxes. They made 80 billion dollars in profi t before taxes, an amount equal to almost 1,300 dollars per second.)

The budget of Project FREE is also dwarfed by the obscene sums already committed to the war in Iraq (a war driven largely by the desire to ensure the continued fl ow of oil from Iraq’s vast reserves) and the huge amounts we are currently sending overseas in exchange for foreign oil. In 2006, for example, the United States sent about 280 billion dollars to foreign oil producers-around a thousand dollars for each man, woman, and child in the country. At that time, the average cost of oil was less than 70 dollars a barrel. As of this writing-just two years later-oil costs over 140 dollars a barrel, more than twice as much. With this gigantic and steadily growing drain on our national resources, no wonder our economy is floundering-and no wonder more and more Americans are recognizing the urgency of the need for energy independence.

There are two important points to note. First, Project FREE should be established with powers akin to those granted high-priority wartime programs, so as to remove all clearance and cooperation impediments that might otherwise slow or stop its progress.

Second, it should be temporary, as permanent bureaucracies tend to become special interests, intent on prolonging their own existence rather than on getting the job completed. The legislation creating the project must mandate its dismantling either upon fulfi llment of its commission or aft er 15 years have passed, whichever comes first. Just as built-in deadlines existed for both the Manhattan Project (finish the bomb before the Nazis do) and the Apollo Project (to land a man on the moon “before this decade [the 60s] is out”), there should be a deadline for Project FREE.

It has been a long time since America has heard a rallying cry to launch an extraordinary effort to achieve the seemingly impossible. Today, with our nation’s greatness apparently in decline and with our people divided by partisan rancor and social discord, it would benefit the nation enormously if we could join forces to pursue an important and truly valuable goal.

2 Responses to “Project Free”

  1. NIck Kaufmann Says:

    Hi there,
    I’ve been spamming you folks a bit– sorry for that– but I have a project that is in the same spirit… if gen-we is rallying people to solve issues like the energy crisis, then this group: the declaration of INTERdependence 3.0, is like the cheering-squad and emotional/psychological/spiritual support group. We are also planning a FESTIVAL of INTERdependence in 2012, and would appreciate support to make it a great event!


  2. Forex Says:

    Fantastic. This blog rocks!