By CAPT. JAMES MCCORMICK

NEW HAVEN – This July Fourth we'll celebrate the 239th anniversary of the publication of the Declaration of Independence, the founding of our nation in 1776, and the beginning of the American Revolution.

Ours is the only nation on earth and in history to be founded on an idea: the idea that the people are sovereign and that a government derives its just power and authority from them and must have their consent. As Ronald Reagan remarked in his first inaugural address, “We are a nation that has a government – not the other way around.”

This is the essence of American exceptionalism, and it is something we should celebrate every day of the year.

This July Fourth, we can also celebrate the beginning of a second American revolution, one that promises to make our nation energy-independent and secure.

After years of dangerous dependence on foreign sources of energy, America – thanks to the ingenuity of its free people and the technology we've created – is now on the verge of energy independence and could very soon become a net energy exporter.

If we embrace this revolution, our economy will flourish and hundreds of thousands of our out-of-work friends and family members will find rewarding jobs again. Our indebted cities, states, and nation will enjoy new revenue. Our allies abroad will be able to import the energy they need from a trusted friend. And, most important, our servicemen and women will no longer have to risk their lives trying to secure access to energy in foreign lands.

If we love our country and want it to remain independent, we should adopt an all-of-the-above approach to domestic energy development – tapping fossil fuels, nuclear power, wind, solar, hydro, biomass, etc. – and make full use of the many abundant sources of energy we have right here in America.

This July Fourth, let's celebrate two revolutions.

Captain James McCormick USA (ret.) is the West Virginia state Chairman of Vets4Energy. He is a native of New Haven.

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