Florida Veteran Among Vets4Energy Group Lobbying Bill Nelson for Keystone XL
Around the State
Retired Naval Commander Tom Garcia is just back from a Washington conference with the staff of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, where he advocated for the immediate approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline by the Obama administration.
Garcia, a Lake Worth resident, visited Capitol Hill as a representative of Vets4Energy, a volunteer group of distinguished veterans supporting lawmakers who enact policies to reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil, thereby bolstering national security.
The proposed pipeline project would carry oil from the Canadian Province of Alberta through the U.S. Midwest to the U.S. Gulf Coast for refining. Five separate impact studies, including one from the U.S. State Department, have found the project’s environmental impact minimal.
“It is time for the administration to act,” Garcia said. “If Keystone is approved, the U.S. will be one step closer to energy independence and increased national security.”
With imports from Canada added to the United States’ own domestic production, North American energy sources will supply 100 percent of America’s estimated liquid fuel needs by 2024, at the same time creating thousands of jobs in the U.S., according to the American Petroleum Institute's "The State of American Energy 2013" report.
"I was encouraged by my meetings with Sen. Nelson's staff," Garcia said. "They seemed to understand how the Keystone project relates to national security and boosts U.S. jobs and the economy. Unfortunately, the senator doesn't want to commit to supporting its approval."
This marks the third consecutive year that Vets4Energy brought veterans from across the country to meet with members of Congress. Volunteers with Vets4Energy will continue to engage other veterans in the 26 states the group currently represents, and ask that they, too, send the message to lawmakers that energy independence is key to national security.
About Commander Tom Garcia USN, (Ret.): The Lake Worth resident is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. After graduating, Garcia became a carrier-based pilot for the Navy. He attended Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) and continued his naval career as an air combat instructor pilot teaching military pilots the art of air combat for many years. Currently a captain with American Airlines, Commander Garcia flies international routes out of South Florida.