Terron Sims, a former U.S. Army Captain and Iraq War veteran from Virginia, was in the White House Rose Garden in March of 2012 when President Obama proposed strong new vehicle fuel economy standards for America. The new national standards—54.5 miles per gallon by 2025—were adopted by executive order in August 2012.

Captain Sims is a spokesperson for Operation Free, a campaign of Energy Foundation grantee Truman National Security Project and Center for National Policy. In a blog post about the White House event, he said he remembered seeing convoys of trucks stretched out 10 miles long under the hot Iraqi sun, under constant risk of attack by extremists.

“I realized then just how vulnerable it makes any country to be dependent on oil, especially the United States, which uses nearly a quarter of the world’s supply,” he wrote. “That’s why I’m glad that my Commander in Chief is doing what it takes to make sure we have true energy independence by taking steps to reduce our oil use and increase clean, renewable sources of American energy.”

As the White House advanced the new standards, veterans who received leadership training through Truman held energy security briefings across the U.S. with Congress, state legislators, and federal officials. They also held a tele-town hall meeting that reached over 100,000 who heard panelists discuss the positive economic and security impacts of stronger national gas mileage standards. The call was hosted by Truman Project Vice President and Operation Free veteran Michael Breen, and featured Lieutenant General Norman Seip (U.S. Air Force – Ret.); Mark Cooper, the director of research for the Consumer Federation of America; David Champion, director of the Auto Test Division of Consumer Reports; and John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of the Small Business Majority

Truman also conducts media outreach, placing this award-winning ad, and this radio message delivered by Captain Sims. Most recently, the organization released a hard-hitting video that will be developed into a full-length film—“The Burden.”

Truman has trained and mobilized more than 5,000 veterans in 46 states to serve as credible voices on the national security aspect of energy and climate issues, providing them with the skills and strategic direction to engage when their support matters most.

 

U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Montigo White/Released