Gore, Clark headline NASCAR Green event
By Tina Akouris firstname.lastname@example.org September 11, 2013 9:20PM
Retired Gen. Wesley Clark and Al Gore at the NASCAR Green Summit 2013 held at Venue 610 in Chicago on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. | Tina Akouris~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 15, 2013 6:59AM
Although retired Gen. Wesley Clark supports President Barack Obama’s position on Syria, the former Supreme Allied Commander of Europe and NATO thinks the United States can avoid future conflicts in the Middle East if Americans rely more on ethanol instead of foreign oil.
Clark joined former Vice President Al Gore and NASCAR CEO Brian France as keynote speakers Wednesday at the NASCAR Green Summit at Venue Six 10 on Michigan Avenue.
The summit was commemorating five years of NASCAR’s Green initiative. But within the talk of what NASCAR is doing to make the sport more environmentally friendly, Clark made several key points about the nation’s reliance on foreign oil and how that has dragged the country into military conflicts.
“It’s all about oil,” Clark said in his speech. “Forty years, three wars and trillions of dollars in national security is what we are paying to import oil.”
Clark also addressed the Syria issue, saying that he was in Washington, D.C., earlier in the week and all anyone talked about was what the U.S. should do in Syria.
But Clark stressed one thing: He says Americans are tired of going to war.
“The American people have a real sense of what’s going on and they don’t want another war in the Mideast,” Clark said after his speech. “I support what President Obama is trying to do — he is trying to keep chemical weapons from being used.”
During his speech, Clark’s argument was that an ethanol blend of fuel, similar to the kind that NASCAR uses in its race cars, is just as good as the gas Americans are buying at the pump.
NASCAR uses Sunoco Green E15 fuel made from 15 percent ethanol.
“I am so glad NASCAR is using ethanol, because it is safe and it doesn’t hurt (a car’s) engine,” Clark said. “And it avoids the U.S. from having to import a million barrels of (foreign) oil.”
Gore’s speech at the summit started out lighthearted enough, with a reference to the recent cable television movie “Sharknado,” which was televised in July and became a cult hit on Twitter.
But Gore’s talk got serious when it came to the environment. Gore said it is easy to connect the dots to lower lake levels and amounts of pollution that are being expelled into the air.
The increased amounts of water from lakes and rivers that are evaporating into the atmosphere are creating more moisture in the air, resulting in the heavy downpours and flooding that have plagued many parts of the country this past spring.