By Will Sealy

In celebrating the Commonwealth’s annual Clean Energy Week this week, we are reminded what’s at stake in this election.

At an endorsement in Lexington today, Senator Al Franken spoke about Elizabeth Warren’s commitment to clean energy as a necessary investment in our future and the future of our children. He also criticized Republican efforts to subsidize Big Oil in tax handouts and special breaks.

Massachusetts has long been a state with high energy costs. With no oil, coal or natural gas production of our own, we bear the price of importing fuel from around the world.

Thanks to the work of Governor Deval Patrick, our state legislature, and thousands of hardworking entrepreneurs, Massachusetts has been moving in the right direction. In recent years, the Commonwealth has become a leader in clean energy and energy efficiency. Smart policies like the Green Communities Act and the Green Jobs Act have built a robust private-public partnership, and will serve to protect our environment for future generations. Moreover, our investment in clean energy is creating good jobs and putting people back to work. With nearly 5,000 clean energy firms and more than 70,000 clean energy workers, these sectors are a critical boost to our state economy.

Senator Scott Brown, Mitt Romney, and their Republican colleagues are eager to undermine these improvements and steer us back in the direction of oil dependency. Scott Brown has voted to give profitable oil companies more than $20 billion in tax subsidies — the same companies that made $137 billion in profits last year alone. Brown has already taken over $333,610 in donations from oil and gas companies since 2009. In addition, the Ryan budget and the Republican agenda would make sizable cuts to investments in clean energy, scientific research, and education.  And if the Republicans take over control of the Senate, Senator Jim Inhofe would likely be in charge of the committee that oversees the Environmental Protection Agency. Inhofe has called global warming “a hoax” — in fact, it’s the title of his book.

If you are planning to observe the beauty of fall foliage this weekend, take a moment to ask yourself whether we can afford to continue the same failed policies of the past or whether it is time to support a candidate who wants to invest in the future.