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Military veterans who want to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil are touring the country, and made a stop in Springfield Wednesday. KSMU's Jennifer Moore met up with them and heard what they had to say.
The National Veterans for American Power Tour is scheduled to hit 16 states. The veterans say they’re trying to convince Americans that the country’s reliance on foreign oil is dangerous for both national security and for the environment.
Brendan Flynn, veteran of the US Coast Guard, was one of the individuals who stopped to visit with students at Missouri State University. He says as long as America depends largely on foreign oil, particularly from the Middle East, it won’t have the freedom to make security decisions unilaterally.
"If we were to become less over-reliant on this particular source of energy, it would free us up to focus on things that are really important to American security closer to home, perhaps," he said.
Also traveling with the group on a biodiesel-powered bus is Matt Victoriano, a former Marine and veteran of the Iraq War. He spoke against using foreign oil from an environmental perspective.
"Right now, there are options for biofuels, nuclear, cleaner coal, solar, wind [energy]. There are a lot of different options out there," he said.
The national tour began in front of the US Capitol on January 13th. It is financed by Operation Free, a coalition of veterans and non-profit agencies dedicated to raising awareness on climate change and national security issues.
For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.