Florida Veteran Among Vets4Energy Group Lobbying Bill Nelson for Keystone XL

By: Sunshine State News | Posted: April 2, 2014 3:55 AM
Keystone Pipeline Art

'... The pipes, the pipes are calling ...'

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.

Last week the group asked congressional Democrats to increase pressure on the president to approve the pipeline deal, delayed by the current administration for the past five years.

Tom Garcia

Tom Garcia

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.

Comments (12)

Maro Wieboldt
1:30PM APR 10TH 2014
I am very much PRO energy for our country....we need the Keystone XL
and we need it now. Don't delay progressive energy advancement for our great nation and people.
Jan Freed
4:46PM APR 3RD 2014
There are many good reasons to say "no" to Keystone.

It will not create the jobs claimed* for it, nor will it reduce prices at the pump. In fact, prices may go up as domestic oil finds easier ways overseas.

It threatens drinking water supplies.

But most importantly, the IEA estimates that Keystone could harvest 3 times the carbon that would take us over 2 degrees C, the absolute limit for a catastrophe we might survive, if we're lucky. And other carbon projects are in the wings, taking us up to +6 deg. C, with "massive climate change and irreparable damage" How reckless can we be?

We are warned of this climate abyss by our most trusted messengers, such as NOAA, NASA, every scientific academy, such as the Royal Academy of UK (SIr Isaac Newton was president), the National Academy of Sciences (Einstein was a member), the very conservative World Bank, fact-checked by National Geographic, Scientific American.
We are told of current disastrous health effects by the 
American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and the AMA.
Surely they cannot all be bogus.

We cannot rely on State Department assessments, if made by employees of the carbon industries.

And Keystone could eventually strip forests the size of Florida, forests that might have absorbed enormous quantities of CO2 before they were removed as "overburden".

Would Keystone "replace" those forests? They've say they would make good any future
damage. Laughable.

Even 2 degrees itself may be too high - a "prescription for disaster"
says Dr. James Hansen, chief climatologist at NASA (ret.), one who, early on, predicted many of the catastrophic effects that we have seen.

Many of us know the bitter taste of the weird weather out there, with just current warming of .8 deg C.

Shall we roll the dice for our kids and grand kids, saying "let it ride!" beyond 2 degrees and more? More, and we might invite abrupt, irreversible changes.

No, taking your kids to to soccer practice or Disney World does not make up for that.

With its high risks and low return, Keystone XL is not a smart gamble.
A recent State Dept. study said the construction workforce would be 5,000 to 6,000 workers. And once the construction phase ends, almost all of these jobs, however many are created, would go away.

An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo
5:25PM APR 2ND 2014
Buying oil from a foreign country (Canada) will help with the US energy independence? Great logic! US renewable energy is the ONLY way to go!
4:26AM APR 3RD 2014
Like wind and solar? Why don't you go hug a tree and see how that heats your home in the winter, or do you live in your mommy's basement?
7:26AM APR 3RD 2014
LOL Oh, what an effective argument in favor of the pipeline. (Not!)

In any case, I read terrorists would only have to take out 9, just 9 substations of our electrical grid to render most of the US without electricity for a year.
In that case, I don't know too many people who wouldn't like some solar and wind power then- except maybe you. ;-)
3:04PM APR 3RD 2014
Yes, yes . . . . and Nancy knows that depending on a disappearing resource will ensure our nation's long term security far more than developing renewable sources of energy supply. . . . .

Nancy . . . . her Palin-like verbage, logic, tactics and strategy are simply . . .

Pathetic . . . .
10:42AM APR 2ND 2014
. . . . and previously unsuccessful GOP candidate for Congress . . . . something SSN conveniently forgot to mention . . .

Pathetic . . . .
Norman Wells
3:27PM APR 2ND 2014
Frank maybe you could elaborate on your accomplishments.
4:00PM APR 2ND 2014
You don't think it's relevant that someone pushing the Keystone pipeline has a particular political background . . . . that perhaps that, rather than his "vet" status, may better explain his particular lobbying stance and activism on this issue . . . . . . . so redirection politics, that's your answer to a criticism of an SSN article not including that "fact" in their "journalistic" analysis . . . . once again . . . .

Pathetic . . . .
4:23AM APR 3RD 2014
They forgot to mention that he is an Eagle Scout. Pathetic!
Like you, Pathetic!
And you forgot to mention that you are a liberal troll. Pathetic.
2:58PM APR 3RD 2014
Yes, yes, I'm sure all Eagle Scouts are for the pipeline because of their political beliefs (and careful, you never know who might be one) . . . . so they're the equivalent of being a past Republican Congressional candidate, with a partisan philosophy to tout and publicize, right . . . . . oh well, at least we all got to see the level of your eloquence in commenting . . . . . .

Pathetic . . . . .
1:19PM APR 2ND 2014
Meaning ...?

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