As a long-time resident of Miami, I believe that the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a threat to my way of life.

The beaches where we swim and go fishing are in danger. Many fishermen are losing their livelihoods, now that a huge portion of the Gulf is closed to fishing. We are supposed to be leading the world in this new “green revolution,” but instead we are now the ones causing some of the worst damage to our most beautiful habitats.

I believe, however, that we can make a transition to clean, renewable sources of energy. This will not only reduce pollution, but will also revive our economy with new, clean-energy industries. Studies show that investments in clean energy can create 1.9 million jobs nationwide, including 78,000 in Florida.

As long as we rely on oil and other fossil fuels, our economy, our environment and our national security are at risk. Global climate change could have severe consequences that would dwarf the impacts of the current oil spill.

Very soon this summer, the U.S. Senate will take up comprehensive climate and clean-energy legislation. Senators Bill Nelson and George LeMieux need to do the right thing, and vote to bring clean energy to America.

–Yemani Mason