Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona), who was shot while meeting with constituents Saturday near a sunny grocery store parking lot, is a strong proponent of federal policies that would expand renewable energy.
Giffords, 40, is in critical condition after one of more than 30 bullets fired by the gunman passed through Giffords’ head from back to front, according to surgeons.
In her three terms in Congress, Giffords has been outspoken about promoting renewable energy. Her political centrism, born from holding a swing congressional district that twice supported George W. Bush for president, led her to focus on its effects on security.
“The impact of our oil dependence is more than just a vague, geopolitical risk – it is felt directly by our troops on the front lines every day, where they use petroleum for everything from armored vehicles to air conditioners,” Giffords wrote in an editorial printed in the Arizona Daily Star last January.
“Clearly, reducing our dependence on imported oil and switching to domestic, renewable energy sources would make our nation more secure.”
“I understand the reluctance to pick technology winners and losers,” Giffords said on the House floor in June 2009. “But I’m not talking about picking a technology. I’m talking about picking a resource, and that is a big difference.”
She sits on the Armed Services Committee and offered legislation last year requiring the use of hybrid technology for tactical military vehicles, accelerated production of biofuels for aircraft, and a Pentagon strategy to find 25 percent of the military’s energy from renewable sources by 2025.
The military is certainly ahead of the rest of the country at understanding the importance of getting off fossil fuels. These interesting statistics were reported a few months ago:
- Fossil fuel is the number one thing the military imports into Afghanistan (30 to 80 percent of convoy loads)
- The military spends $1 per gallon of gas, but can then spend up to $400 more per gallon to get it to forward operating bases
- For every 24 fuel convoys, one soldier or civilian working on transport was killed
Giffords races motorcycles and brags of being the only member of Congress with an active duty military spouse: Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, an astronaut.
Source: ClimateWire (subscription required)
Paul Mackie is associate director of strategic communications for climate change at The Nature Conservancy
Photo by: Flickr user Step It Up 2007 (Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords speaks at a rally on solar power.)
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