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Veterans Speak Up for Fuel Economy Standards


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Energy Foundation made its first grant to Truman National Security Institute in 2009.

More than 1,700 veterans, civilians, and policy experts are advocating for policies to pivot the U.S. away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy, in service of our national security.

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; today they are threatened by the Trump administration.

Captain Sims has been a spokesperson for Operation Free, a campaign of Energy Foundation grantee Truman National Security Institute. 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.”

Terron Sims, former U.S. Army Captain and Iraq War veteran

As the White House advanced new vehicle 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 award-winning ads, and a radio message delivered by Captain Sims. The organization released a full-length film called “The Burden,” which “tells the story of fossil fuel dependence as our greatest long-term national security threat, and why the military is leading the transition to clean energy. ”

Truman has hundreds of members in 16 chapters across 47 states who serve as credible voices on the national security aspect of clean energy and climate issues .