Washington, D.C.—In response to news of the passing of General Paul X. Kelley, the 28th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps and Chairman Emeritus of Securing America’s Future Energy’s (SAFE) Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond made the following statement:
“As a founder of the Rapid Reaction Joint Task Force that became Central Command, General Kelley always stood out as a visionary who understood the close ties between energy security and national security, joining SAFE in our early years as the co-chair of the Energy Security Leadership Council. We will always be humbled by his decision to join our organization and his honor, wisdom, friendship, and expertise will always be greatly appreciated by all of us here at SAFE.”
During his illustrious career, Kelley earned the Silver Star, two awards of the Legion of Merit and two awards of the Bronze Star Medal during his tours of duty in Vietnam. General Kelley commanded the last Marine regiment to serve in the Vietnam War, and became the youngest Marine ever at that time to rise to the rank of four-star general. He was named Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps on July 1, 1983.
“General Kelley was as fearless as he was outspoken, never afraid to confront problems where he saw them and prepared to work tirelessly to correct them in the service of his country when he was in the military or afterwards. He was a true American hero, a role model, and most importantly a friend, and we will miss him dearly,” Diamond concluded.
Joining SAFE as co-chair of the ESLC in 2006, General Kelley was a tireless advocate for safeguarding American national security by reducing U.S. dependence on oil. Led by General Kelley and FedEx Chairman and CEO Frederick W. Smith, the ESLC released its Recommendations to the Nation on Reducing U.S. Oil Dependence—a concrete plan to improve U.S. energy security as well crucial follow-up reports and policy briefs.
The credibility and expertise of those leaders and the quality of the policy material they presented a major role in the drafting and passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the introduction of the National Energy Security Act by Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and George Voinovich (R-OH). The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted on a bipartisan basis to approve a wide-ranging bill that included many of the most important recommendations in 2009.
About Securing America’s Future Energy
Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.