S.C. military officers urge energy policy

sfretwell@thestate.comMay 29, 2009 

Several active and former military officers from South Carolina called Friday for Congress to adopt new energy and climate policies this year -- or the country will face increasing national security threats.

At a news conference in Columbia, Sen. Phil Leventis, D-Sumter, and James Smith, D-Richland, voiced their support for such legislation, as did James Holland, the American Legion’s South Carolina commander. Leventis is a retired Air National Guard general; Smith is an Army officer who served in Afghanistan.

A May 2009 report signed by a dozen high-ranking former military offices said dependence on fossil fuels and the nation’s fragile electricity grid pose significant security threats.

“We need a better energy policy in this country, one that will take into account the national security risks of relying on a resource that is in the hands of nations that are not necessarily friendly to our interests,’’ Leventis said.

“We are at a crossroads,’’ Smith said.

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