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May 29, 2009

S.C. military officers urge energy policy

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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