On Thursday, May 18, 2017, Operation Free held an Energy Security briefing in Raleigh, North Carolina, for state legislators and staff, including policy advisors from the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NCDMV) and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ). Operation Free has found that these in-person briefings are extremely valuable for educating state legislators on climate change’s relationship with energy security and, in particular, its impact on local and state issues. The security message brought traditional and non-traditional stakeholders to table, and we want to continue to cultivate those relationships in order to continue to build out support for clean and renewable energy among policymakers.
Following the Energy Security briefing, Operation Free hosted a public screening of The Burden: Fossil Fuels, the Military, and National Security in Charlotte at The Mint Museum in Uptown. The screening was followed by an in-depth panel discussion with Truman and Operation Free veterans Jon Gensler, former U.S. Army Captain currently serving as an Independent Energy and Leadership Consultant, and Ryan McGill, co-leader of the North Carolina Truman Chapter who has served in three branches of the military. The discussion highlighted what the military is currently doing to deter oil dependence and combat climate change.
As North Carolina holds an ongoing debate about its energy future, now is the time to help shape that debate—and Operation Free has been right there to educate on the security implications of fossil fuel dependence and climate change due to rising emissions of greenhouse gases. We are excited to report a successful trip to North Carolina, and look forward to returning later this summer for a roundtable discussion to take the conversation further and consider future clean energy solutions.