On Wednesday, 25 October 2017, Operation Free held an Energy and National Security Roundtable in Raleigh, NC. The roundtable was held to introduce local policymakers and clean energy organizations to Operation Free and Truman Project’s North Carolina Chapter, as well as to discuss the threats that fossil fuel dependence presents on national security and the economy.
From left to right: Ryan McGill, Truman North Carolina Chapter Co-Leader; Rikkia Ramsey, Truman Senior Program Manager; LTG Norm Seip, USAF (ret); and Jason Cain, Truman North Carolina Chapter Co-Leader
LTG Norm Seip, USAF (ret) discussed these threats, explaining why military and security leaders see oil dependence and climate change as a national security threat, and giving personal accounts of seeing this dynamic play out from his perch in the Air Force. One example he gave was having to fly overhead to protect military convoys as they traveled along supply routes, explaining that these routes are open targets for the enemy. LTG Seip also discussed the need to explore alternative fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expressing that more and more of our servicemembers are being called to help clean up after natural disasters which stretches thin our resources and diverts attention from other critical missions.
He referenced recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, saying that while we help clean up and restore these communities, we also need to invest in resilient infrastructure to avoid such costly repairs in the future. These storms will only worsen and become more frequent as climate change continues to be a factor.
Following this roundtable, Operation Free will be looking to partner with local organizations in the coming months to ensure North Carolina reaches its maximum potential for clean and renewable energy development in 2018 and beyond.