Former Foreign Service Officer Victor Marsh
As a foreign service officer serving at various U.S. embassies, I worked proudly to advance the interests of U.S. businesses and promote rules-based economic relations with other countries. As a committed multilateralist, I believe that strategic restraint by powerful U.S. economic actors helps the global economy be more equitably prosperous. Additionally, in my work in the energy sector, I know that oil and gas companies abroad get more official support from our government than green energy companies. This imbalance—which demonstrates a lack of restraint on our most polluting industries—is a strategic problem for the world economy. After all, as we focus on deeper drilling at the expense of cleaner renewable alternatives, we are failing to be strategic. While we have incredible technology to drill further down and squeeze oil even from the rocks beneath our earth’s surface, we need to ask ourselves what happens next. I am a supporter of OpFree because I believe that it is time we tip the balance in our foreign economic policy towards renewable energy.
In Cyprus, I worked on the contentious issue of the sharing of hydrocarbon revenues between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the island’s reunification negotiations. The hope for fossil fuels to fund a peace agreement proved misplaced. I wish I had instead explored how to build collaborations between the communities based upon clean energy. In Haiti, as an economic officer with the post-earthquake reconstruction task force, I wish I had spent more time focused on cleaner ways to deliver the job-creating economic stimulus efforts that were the focus of our industrial initiatives and trade benefits program.