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Naples Daily News: Commentary: Consider candidates’ energy policy this election season

Sunday, June 24, 2018

By Lt. Col. Dennis Freytes, Florida chairman, Vets4Energy

With the 2018 election cycle quickly approaching, responsibility lies on voters to decide how they will exercise their constitutional right to achieve the change they want to see.

Important races for various cabinet positions, state offices, Congress and governor are gearing up, and who we elect to these offices will significantly impact Florida’s future.

Discussion surrounding the importance of energy tends to take a back seat when analyzing candidates. However, all Floridians rely on energy for daily life. The topic of energy needs to be regarded with as much seriousness as a candidate’s views on education, public safety, health care and more.

It is imperative that voters consider electing candidates who support pro-energy policies to keep our lights on and our phones charged.

As a veteran of the U.S. Army, I firmly believe a strong correlation exists between energy security and national security. Our national security is at a great risk when we are continually dependent on our foreign neighbors for crucial energy resources. It is impossible to take an objective stance on international conflict while our dependence on outside resources continues to create definite bias.

Why do we foster relationships with countries that govern in direct opposition to everything we believe? Our brave American patriots risk their lives daily for the United States, and it is important that we do what we can to prioritize energy independence for the good of all.

There is no shortage of safe, reliable energy resources here in America, yet some citizens hope to halt domestic energy production and the development of its supporting infrastructure. These voices oppose the advancements that will keep America secure by halting the development of new resources.

One such example can be found here in Florida. A bill slated for ballots this fall is Amendment 9, which seeks to constitutionally ban offshore exploration in any form from occurring in our state waters.

We are in our 17th year of the nation’s longest-ever war, and we cannot forget about the thousands of brave men and women fighting for our freedom in the Middle East.

Sound energy policy is the key to unleashing our domestic energy potential and finally ending our involvement in volatile foreign conflicts. We need to do everything we can to tap into our home-grown energy resources, and offshore exploration is a major component.

This November, remember that your vote is your tool in shaping the future. It is up to us to preserve and protect the nation we are blessed to call home for future generations. Let’s be sure to elect representatives who will help us do so.

Freytes is the Florida chairman of Vets4Energy.


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