Military Voices on Climate Change and Keystone XL
Expect to hear plenty of national security squawking around a hearing to be held tomorrow by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to examine whether Keystone XL is in the nation’s best interest. General James Jones will be one of the witnesses headlining the hearing. His role as a former US National Security Advisor and Marine Corps Commandant will give him a loud megaphone to discuss issues of national security, though, as Media Matters and Buzzfeed point out, perhaps reporters should keep his recent gigs lobbying for the pipeline on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute and US Chamber of Commerce in mind…
Jones’s service to this nation is greatly appreciated, but he does not have a monopoly on this issue. A number of high-profile military voices have rejected the pipeline as counter to the needs of the public and Armed Services:
- Former Brigadier General Steven M. Anderson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics for the Multi-National Force in Iraq, has spoken out against Keystone XL repeatedly: in Huffington Post, Politico and on Capitol Hill.
- Former Lieutenant General Norman R. Seip, former Commander of the 12th Air Force, called the pipeline a national security "dud" in The Hill and has spoken out against the project elsewhere.
- Jonathan Gensler is an Iraq war veteran and fellow with the Truman National Security Project who blogged against KXL in The Hill
The concerns all three of these men voice are echoed in the Defense Department’s recently released 2014 Quadrennial Review which calls on all branches of the military to consider climate change as one of the primary drivers of global destabilization threats in the 21st century. Certainly, couching a project that would increase our reliance and turbocharge extraction of the most carbon-intensive petroleum on the planet goes counter to this new directive.