A veterans’ group launched a powerful national ad campaign today with video images that make a chilling connection between the United States’ reliance on foreign oil and the deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq.
The goal of the campaign is to encourage a national shift toward cleaner energy and away from reliance on oil. It’s a shift that is also increasingly being encouraged by top military officials who recognize that foreign oil is putting their troops in harm’s way.
“Some in Congress say it’s a tough vote,” says Christopher Miller, a war veteran who received a Purple Heart after an explosion in Iraq.
“Not as tough as what our troops are up against.”
In the ad, VoteVets.org makes a connection that military leaders have made in the past between increasingly dangerous explosives being used in Iraq, such as explosively formed
projectiles (EFPs) that can pierce U.S. armored vehicles, and U.S. oil money flowing into Iran.
A report last month from the Truman National Security Project, a Washington-based think-tank, added up that oil money. It calculated that in 2008 the U.S. spent $1 billion a day importing oil from countries that the State Department considers “dangerous or unstable”. Greater demand for oil, even if that oil comes from friendly countries, raises the global price, and every $5 increase in the price of crude oil represents an additional $7.9 billion for Iran and $4.7 billion for Venezuela, the report says.
“We’re literally funding both sides of the wars we’re in, because so much oil money to Middle East nations makes its way to terrorists,” Jon Soltz, an Iraq war veteran and chairman of VoteVets.org, told SolveClimate.
“Our dependence on oil drives up the cost worldwide, which means Iran makes more money, even though we don’t buy directly from them.”
The $1 million ad campaign is running nationwide, with ads in certain states — including Alaska, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia — specifically targeting members of Congress who are on the fence about clean energy legislation. VoteVets.org, made up of U.S. veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, launched a $2 million round of similar ads last month targeting opponents of clean energy legislation, such as Kentucky’s Sen. Mitch McConnell, Missouri’s Rep. Roy Blunt, and Wyoming’s Sen. John Barrasso, asking which side they’re on.
“We want them to know we need their leadership now. Our troops need them now,” Soltz said.