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Four-Star General Criticizes Congressman Kirk for Opposing Clean Energy Legislation that Would Decrease U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil


Chicago, IL – Four-star General and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark joined U.S. Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias today (August 30) in Chicago at one of the city’s only electric car recharging stations to endorse Giannoulias’ candidacy and highlight his forward-thinking leadership on clean energy reform that would decrease America’s dependence on foreign oil, improve its national security and create the jobs of tomorrow.

“America is addicted to foreign oil.  It’s that simple,” said Giannoulias. “We’ve got to stop sending our money overseas to the same regimes that fund the terrorists who are intent on doing harm to America.  The easiest way to become energy independent is to transition from dirty fuels to clean fuels that we produce right here in Illinois.  Congressman Kirk has been in Washington, D.C. for so long that he has been on both sides of this issue — first voting for the major energy bill for national security reasons, and then promising to vote against it in the Senate as he begged for Sarah Palin‘s endorsement.  He simply can not be trusted to put America’s economic and national security interests above his own political ambition.”

General Wesley Clark has been a vocal leader in need for clean energy development.  He supports reforms because they will not only be good for the environment and the economy, but because they are imperative to protecting America’s national security.  This was the same reason Congressman Mark Kirk cited when he voted for energy legislation in the House last year – legislation he now opposes.

“Investing in a clean energy economy will not only be good for our environment, but it will also strengthen our national security and jumpstart our economy,” said General Clark. “Congressman Kirk agreed with me when he voted for the energy bill last year, but now he stands starkly against it. That’s not leadership, and it’s not the type of forward-thinking advocate that Illinois voters should send to the U.S. Senate.”

Congressman Mark Kirk’s Flip-Flop on Cap-and-Trade

Then:    After voting for the cap-and-trade bill, Kirk explained his vote was for national security reasons – “As a Navy veteran, I think it is time to set America’s policy towards defunding Middle Eastern dictatorships by cutting our foreign oil bill, giving our troops less to worry about. In the coming Senate debate, I hope we can repeat this environmental success and aggressively back a national program to defund Iran and Venezuela by reducing America’s need for foreign oil.” [Kirk release, 6/29/09]

Now:     But during a Republican primary when he was trying to woo Sarah Palin’s endorsement, he dismissed the national security rationale and had a new reason – “I voted for it because it was in the narrow interests of my congressional district. But as your representative, representing the entire state of Illinois, I will vote ‘No’ on that bill coming up.” [Chicago Sun-Times, 9/16/09; Washington Post, Plum Line, 9/15/09]

In a memo to Sarah Palin soliciting her endorsement, Kirk recommends that she use the following talking point: “he will oppose Cap & Trade”. [The Fix, WashingtonPost.com, 11/4/09]

General Wesley Clark

During 34 years of service in the United States Army Wesley K. Clark rose to the rank of four-star general as NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, Europe. In his final military command, General Clark commanded Operation Allied Force, NATO’s first major combat action, which saved 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, and he was responsible for the peacekeeping operation in Bosnia. General Clark’s awards and honors include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, The State Department Distinguished Service Award, the US Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards), The US Army Distinguished Service Medal (two awards), The Silver Star, the Bronze Star (two awards), the Purple Heart.

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