Clean Energy: Protecting Our National Security

 

Investment in clean, abundant and affordable forms of renewable energy technology have been long proven to stimulate job growth, increase manufacturing and protect pristine environments across the United States. But another byproduct – perhaps the most critical – of the commonsense pursuit of an all of the above energy portfolio that harnesses America’s potential for wind, solar, nuclear, biomass, hydro, and even geothermal energy is a prudent investment in our nation’s national defense capabilities. At no time has this sentiment been more prevalent than today; and nowhere is this more evident than among members of President Trump’s Cabinet.

In the first six months of the Trump Administration, President Donald Trump and his team of appointed officials have streamlined an “America First” approach for major policy initiatives. For the administration, clean energy policy not only presents an opportunity to place America’s economy and jobs first, but also offers an unique opportunity to strengthen national security. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley have all played an integral role in implementing clean energy policy as a national security measure in order to achieve energy independence and lead the world in energy innovation.

President Trump’s National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, is a Lieutenant General in the U.S. Army and served as Commander of the Combined Joint Inter-Agency task Force Shafafiyat in Kabul Afghanistan. He has also expressed great interest in developing sustainable and reliable energy sources in order to strengthen America’s strategic position in the world. In fact, when he briefed the White House Press Corps on President Trump’s agenda for the G20 Summit, McMaster mentioned energy policy as one of the President’s priorities. McMaster stated that the administration will work with world leaders and the private sector to “create robust, open and fair markets that drive economic growth and leave no countries hostage to energy-market manipulation.” McMaster continued, assuring U.S. commitment “to the energy security of our allies and partners, and to the diversification of energy sources, supplies and routes.”

Secretary of Defense James Mattis also has an invested national security interest in clean energy solutions. In fact, as Commander of all U.S. Marine Forces in the Middle East, Mattis was an outspoken advocate for diversifying America’s energy sources. Unlike his predecessors, Mattis has sought to address global carbon and methane emissions and their impact on the quality of the environment as a threat to the U.S. military. Mattis will be the first Secretary of Defense to commission a vulnerability assessment, gauging the potential impact of climate change on the military’s assets.

Before her appointment to the U.N., Nikki Haley was a two-term Governor of South Carolina. During her time leading the Palmetto state, Haley was a champion of solar energy development. She brought together a variety of stakeholders in order to implement regulatory reform, allowing for the expansion of the solar industry in her state. As U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley has brought countries from across the world together to facilitate global conversations about reducing emissions, clean energy development and the need to address security threats across the globe.

The work being driven from inside the Trump Administration by H.R. McMaster, James Mattis and Nikki Haley illustrate the important role that clean energy initiatives play in influencing U.S. global influence and leadership on the international stage. These leaders deserve to be commended for their thought leadership, hard work and service to our nation.

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