On Memorial Day, while Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA) honors members of our armed services who gave their lives for our democracy, EOPA will also be honoring the brave Ukrainians who have given their lives for their sovereign democratic state.
Putin’s war has created an international humanitarian crisis of epic proportions as more than 6.5 million refugees have fled and an estimated thousands of innocent civilians have been killed. The suffering, the horror is unimaginable. While President Joe Biden has successfully brought a world alliance together to help Ukraine protect its democracy without involving the United State’s military on the ground, Russia is still making profits to fuel Putin’s fascist war.
The need to transition off of fossil fuels has never been more urgent. Extreme climate conditions and the war in Ukraine bring that stark truth home for Europe relies on Russian fossil fuels with annual oil exports fulfilling 40 percent of demand across the continent.
“On Memorial Day, EOPA honors members of our armed services who gave their lives for our democracy. We also want to recognize the brave Ukrainian souls who have lost their lives defending their democracy,” said Alex Cornell du Houx, former Maine state Representative, Marine combat veteran, President of the Elected Officials to Protect America and Co-Founder. “The only way to prevent tyrannical leaders like Putin from getting the financial resources they need to create conflicts is to reduce, and eventually eliminate, our dependency on fossil fuels. This will help keep our service members out of harm’s way. The amazing thing is that we have clean energy technologies which can achieve our energy independence goals. President Biden should invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to accelerate the production of clean energy manufacturing that would affect Putin’s finances and help mitigate the climate crisis.”
The DPA authorizes the president to require businesses to accept and prioritize contracts for materials deemed necessary for national defense.
America excels in ramping up production of materials to combat a crisis. In 1940 the United States produced less than 5 percent of the world’s manufactured goods. By 1945 it was over 80 percent. Lend Lease became law to meet the needs of WWII as An Act to Promote the Defense of the United States. Then we entered the war, where over 291,557 brave American service members died to protect the free world, to uphold democracy. President Biden has enacted Lend Lease to help Ukraine fight to keep their democracy, and the hopes of the free world alive.
In today’s war, Europe’s dependency on fossil fuels gave Putin leverage over the European Union, which he used to invade a sovereign, democratic, peace-loving nation. He knew the EU wouldn’t risk having their fuel cut off from Russia, and they haven’t stopped imports.
“On Memorial Day let’s give thanks for all who defended our liberties, our freedoms, our democracy and pay our respects to the freedom fighters in Ukraine,” said Christian Brock, CEO of Elected Officials to Protect America, Air Force Veteran, CA. “Ukraine is not the first conflict where fossil fuels have governed the roles nations took, and it won’t be the last unless countries rid themselves of fossil fuel dependency. For the sake of humanity and peace, we need the president to invoke the Defense Production Act immediately. Our clean energy manufacturing base can grow exponentially with a DPA authorization and with it — so will our economy. A world at peace is a prosperous one. The opportunities of a global clean energy economy are boundless.”
The DPA has already been identified by EOPA as a necessary tool to accelerate our nation’s transition to clean energy in order to meet the clear and present danger of the existential threat of the climate crisis. The DPA is included in theEOPA letter, which over 500 lawmakers signed, which supports a clean energy plan and asks for a Climate Emergency Declaration.
“Fossil fuels represent a clear and present danger to nations that rely on them for energy. Our nation needs bold solutions to address climate change, and the pollution that is driving it, for our security and the world’s,” said Assemblyman Richard Andrede, (AZ), Air Force Veteran, EOPA Leadership Council. “The only way to free democratic countries from the grip of autocratic oil producing nations is to ramp up the transition to a clean energy economy. The United States, through the Defense Production Act can and must.”
The United States and the European Union (EU) have implemented severe sanctions on Moscow seeking to cripple Putin’s economy. The International Energy Agency recentlypublished a report showing that despite the severe sanctions, Russia still earns roughly $20 billion every month in oil sales. According to the report, Russian oil exports actually increased in April, bringing in 50 percent more in revenue that month compared to last year due to soaring oil prices. Oil and gas accounts for40 percent of the Russian federal budget. Without those profits, and along with the stinging sanctions, Russia’s economy would crumble.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects climate disasters will inevitably lead to more conflicts that benefit autocratic oil nations. A global clean energy economy will increase international security with healthier, more prosperous countries.
“America must take on the underlying cause of drought, wildfire and extreme heat by reducing climate emissions from fossil fuels, and do it in a way that works equitably for all,” said Daniel Lee, Vice-Mayor Culver City, Veteran, EOPA California Leadership Council. “The security of peaceful democratic nations relies, in large part, by curbing greenhouse gas emissions and their dependency on fossil fuels. President Biden can deploy his executive powers to weaken the geopolitical power of fossil fuels, address the climate emergency, and help prevent further mass suffering with the DPA.”
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the world will suffer mass migrations and conflicts caused by scarcity of resources due to the climate crisis. There’s a reason American military leaders have been taking climate seriously for years. The Pentagon first called global warming a “threat multiplier” in 2014, later warning that the climate crisis “will have wide-ranging implications for U.S. national security interests over the foreseeable future because it will aggravate existing problems — such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions — that threaten domestic stability in a number of countries.”
Conflicts will result.
On Memorial Day we honor those who sacrificed their lives defending our democracy. America can help stop conflicts before they start by mitigating the climate crisis, thereby making the threats less likely.
President Joe Biden’s landmark $1 trillion bipartisan Infrastructure Law set the foundation for the transition to a clean energy economy with investments in mitigation, research and development (R&D), and infrastructure to fight the climate crisis. It was the first major step.
While there is a bill in the Senate with investments amounting to $550 billion for climate action, the legislation has been stalled because it would require all Democrats voting for it under the Reconciliation budget process. Senators Manchin and Sinema have declined to vote for it.
“Without the Senate action on the climate provisions of the historic bill before them, the DPA must be invoked. It would follow on from the historic bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Our lives, economy, and national security depend on us meeting the existential threat of climate change,” said Debbie Sarinana, New Mexico State Representative, Air Force Veteran, EOPA National Leadership Council Chair. “People have lost their livelihoods, and in some tragic cases their lives to uncontrollable wildfires. While some forest management will help, unless we transition off of fossil fuels to clean energy — conditions will only get worse. We must address the climate crisis now with President Biden invoking the DPA to accelerate our clean energy transition which will help prevent further suffering at home and abroad.”
The climate crisis investments in the legislation before the Senate would grow our clean energy economy and set the United States on a path to a 50-52 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2030 — the same goal scientists say is necessary to prevent the worst impacts of climate change,”
As we enter the Memorial Day weekend, gasoline and other fossil fuel based energy costs are at all-time highs. With more clean energy sources available to feed into the grid — our nation and economy will be more secure.
“As Mayor, I stand united with Ukraine, who is standing up for their democracy. As an elected official and Marine veteran, I have a responsibility to keep our community safe and free of oppression. The bravery of all the elected officials and public servants in Ukraine should be applauded for their bravery to protect its democracy,” said Mayor Derrick R. Wood, Town of Dumfries, VA, Marine Veteran, EOPA National Leadership Council. “Because of the conflict in Ukraine and the current inflation we are experiencing in our nation, I want to offer my support to President Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase a clean energy transition. As a nation, we could rely less on fossil fuels from abroad and open up ways in which we can use all energy options to reduce the burden the average citizen is facing as a result of inflation.”
We should work to ensure service members are not deployed because of climate change conflicts. To do that we must tackle the root problem of the climate crisis: fossil fuel dependency.
“The only way to free democratic countries from the grip of autocratic oil producing nations is to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. We have the technical know-how — now we need the political will to ensure the security of our nation and the world through a clean energy economy,” said Joel Hicks, Councilmember Borough of Carlisle, PA, former Navy Nuclear Submarine Commander, EOPA National Leadership Council. “We need immediate federal action to dramatically ramp up investments in solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, electric cars, electric heat pumps, green hydrogen and other clean-energy technologies. It’s time for us to fuel our manufacturing companies with the mandate to expand production of clean energy technologies.”
“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity,” said Alber Einstein. The world is in a climate crisis, clean energy technologies present the opportunity forward.
Elected Officials to Protect America is a network of current and former elected officials who care deeply about protecting the planet and people. EOPA is committed to solving the climate crisis, ensuring environmental justice, and protecting our lands and waters. EOPA educates through value-based storytelling, training lawmakers, and connecting elected officials to inspire strong environmental leadership.
May 27, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ramona du Houx,
Elected Officials to Protect America