Washington, DC – On Tuesday March 15, Foreign Policy for America was pleased to join the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Climate Power in hosting Representatives Jason Crow (CO-06), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) Jim Langevin (RI-02), and Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), along with Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Sharon Burke and Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Admiral Dennis McGinn to discuss the strategic vulnerability posed by our continued reliance on fossil fuels and the national security imperative of accelerating our transition to a clean energy future.
The full event can be viewed here.
“Because of the dependence on oil and natural gas, Vladimir Putin has the ability to do things he would not be able to do were we less dependent, less addicted to oil and natural gas,” said Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy Admiral Dennis McGinn. “Our energy security, our economic security, and our environmental security are inextricably linked, and they constitute the foundation of our overall national security and quality of life—not just in the United States, but across the world. By bringing in more types of energy that are clean, that are controllable, that can be produced here in the United States under that sun, with that wind blowing through a wind turbine, or from underground geothermal technology—there are so many ways. It isn’t about giving something up, it’s about getting off an addiction. And what we are gaining are jobs, new companies, new industries, economic security, as well as energy security and a much better environment.”
“What we’re seeing play out right now is the dangers of our dependence on foreign oil,” said Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06). “The long-term solution is we continue a rapid and aggressive transition to renewable energy and cleaner sources of fuel that are cheaper, that will create more jobs, that are better for our economy, and will unleash us from the tether of tyrants and dictators around the world.”
“Until we can shake off our dependence on fossil fuels altogether, Americans will be vulnerable to the kinds of price shocks and supply chain constraints that are hurting American families today,” said Rep. Jim Langevin (RI-02). “As long as our nation relies on the dirty fuel of the 18th and 19th century, our national security is in danger too. Now is the time to renew our commitment to clean energy, not to the fuels of the 18th and 19th century. Now is the time to renew our commitment to a green economy of the future, not the fossil fuel economy of the past.”
“Climate change is accelerating. Energy independence is necessary, and both are matters of national security,” said Rep. Chrissy Houlahan. “At this worrisome time in terms of our own security and that of other democracies around the world, we have to be working aggressively towards energy independence… We must also be working simultaneously and with that very same sense of urgency and passion to make sure that our energy independence and the end solution set reflects that the reality is that our planet’s own changing climate itself is an existential threat to our long-term national security and to our very existence, [and] we must support climate provisions that have been proposed and that have been passed recently in the House.”
“So long as we are dependent on oil, So long as we are dependent on fossil fuels, we will be at the mercy of dictators like Putin, like MBS in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, no matter how much we may drill in the United States, we will be at the mercy of these oil rich dictatorships around the world,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-07). “It is today clearly a national security imperative that we break free of our dependence on these oil rich dictatorships and make America the world leader in clean energy.”
“This is what dependence on fossil fuels looks like […]We have been here before. This is strategic déjà vu, we’ve have had this strategic energy crisis before. […] As long as we depend on oil and natural gas, we’re going to keep coming back here,” said Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Sharon Burke. “It is imperative that this time, as we take all the short term steps that we have to to save our economy and to keep the global economy running, that we not allow ourselves to forget that we must make this long term commitment to ensuring our energy security and our national security. That also means that we are ensuring the measures that will help us with climate change, and that is also not an option. […] What we need to do to improve our energy security and protect our national security is what we need to do to deal with climate change.”
“The turmoil that we are seeing in global energy markets and the pain that Americans are feeling at the pump today are a direct consequence of our continuing reliance – our dependence – on fossil fuels. We can’t go on like this. Today’s discussion was an important reminder that the way to lower energy costs and enhance our security is by accelerating the clean energy transition,” said Andrew Albertson, Foreign Policy for America. “Don’t let people lie to you; energy markets are global. Pumping more oil out of the ground here can only do so much. What we need are new clean energy resources that end the blackmail of dictators and create new technologies, new industries, and new jobs of the future here in the United States. Now is the time to stand with our European allies and to meet the moment and to say enough is enough.”
“We stand with the people of Ukraine, and it is abhorrent that oil and gas CEOs are taking advantage of this humanitarian crisis to increase prices and to line their pockets while families across the country feel the pain at the pump from Putin’s price hike,” said LCV Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “The good news is that Congress already has a solution teed up that will make us less reliant on volatile fossil fuel prices in the future and will address the climate crisis right now. The Senate must meet this moment by passing the $555 billion in climate, clean energy, and environmental justice investments that already passed the House.”