VIDEO: U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth on How Donald Trump is Putting Troops at Risk by Favoring Big Oil
Washington D.C. – Today in a new video, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), cautioned that President Donald Trump is putting servicemembers in danger by prioritizing the bottom lines of Big Oil over the safety of people. The video from Duckworth is part of a series of Climate Power 2020 featuring elected leaders and experts from across the country focusing on the importance of immediate climate action.
“We must build a clean energy future, not only for environmental and economic reasons but for our security and safety too. But Trump is undermining American safety by putting Big Oil first,” said Duckworth. “If you’ve served our country, you know, trucks, tanks, generators, helicopters, and jet aircraft all rely on fuel convoys that are vulnerable to attack by IEDs and ambushes… a clean energy and efficient fuel use slashes the number of refueling stops meaning that our troops would suffer fewer casualties. But Trump has put lobbyists and dirty energy executives in charge of our government who knowingly spread lies to protect their bottom line.”
While Donald Trump has dismissed climate change as a “hoax,” national security and defense experts have been sounding the alarm, calling the crisis a “threat multiplier” The defense industry has warned that more than two-thirds of the military’s “operationally critical” installations will face threats from climate change. A Pentagon assessment of 79 Army, Air Force, and Navy installations found that 53 face threats from flooding, 43 face threats from drought, and 36 face threats from wildfires.
The climate crisis is also putting the U.S. military readiness at risk. Outdoor exercises and events are suspended, delayed, or canceled due to climate change — preventing our service members from receiving the training they need to protect our country.
The Duckworth video is the latest in a series that includes Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), Former Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and Founder of Fair Fight and the Southern Economic Advancement Project Stacey Abrams.
Hi, everyone. I want to talk about patriotism. It has taken on a different meaning in every phase of my life. Right now, patriotism means tackling COVID-19. It means standing up to systemic racism and injustice. It means doing all that we can to build our country back better than before, and it means fighting to fix our climate.
The climate crisis endangers our national security. This is a fact. Our military leaders have been ringing the bell for years saying that the climate crisis is a threat multiplier that undermines our safety, puts U.S. troops and bases at risk, and increases the chances of global conflict.
It is already impacting military readiness as high tides flood our coast guard stations and terrorist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram take advantage of droughts to solidify their power.
We must build a clean energy future, not only for environmental and economic reasons but for our security and safety too. But Trump is undermining American safety by putting Big Oil first.
If you’ve served our country, you know, trucks, tanks, generators, helicopters, and jet aircraft all rely on fuel convoys that are vulnerable to attack by IEDs and ambushes. Our troops get killed protecting these convoys from insurgents who know to target our fuel supplies. So our military’s dependence on fossil fuel puts a target on our troops’ backs. A clean energy and efficient fuel use slashes the number of refueling stops meaning that our troops would suffer fewer casualties.
But Trump has put lobbyists and dirty energy executives in charge of our government who knowingly spread lies to protect their bottom line. No matter the cost to our service members, it is unpatriotic. I fought to defend this nation in Iraq. I’ve seen firsthand the price we pay for our over-dependence on oil imported from our adversaries.
We have a responsibility to keep our troops safe from the dangers of using fossil fuel in combat. Our leaders have a duty to listen to our nation’s most respected experts, but Trump and his Republican allies are ignoring scientists and they’re ignoring our military leaders. So it is my duty to call out Trump’s disregard for our national security because to me fighting for this country doesn’t mean just flying Black Hawks. It also means fighting for a better future, investing in clean energy, and rebuilding a strong lasting economy for our kids and their kids too. Thank you.