The Burden: Fossil Fuel, The Military and National Security
Green Planet Films

The Burden: Fossil Fuel, The Military and National Security

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The Burden is the first film to examine how America’s dependence on fossil fuels poses serious immediate and long-term national security threats – and how the military is taking a leading role in the battle for clean, renewable energy.

The U.S. military is currently the world's single largest institutional consumer of oil, and the United States alone uses 20% of the total global supply. The film highlights how that heavy reliance upon oil and other fossil fuels poses a variety of national security concerns, including:

• The vulnerability of troops and loss of lives and money resulting from the need to protect and defend fuel convoys in war zones like Afghanistan and Iraq,
• The strategic and economic costs of keeping oil rich areas of the world open,
• How climate change will increase the need for the military to respond to natural disasters, and other emerging global security challenges.

The Burden presents the determined voices of those within the military and across the political spectrum who advocate for breaking America’s addiction to fossil fuels as essential to improving our national security.

Featuring high-level active duty and retired military leaders, elected officials and others, the film illustrates a tale of energy innovation. Some of our country’s most vital consumer technologies emerged out of military needs, such as the Internet and GPS, and the military is poised to play the same role again with energy.

However, as the film highlights, the fossil fuel industry’s powerful political influence poses major challenges to successfully developing renewable energy alternatives, even within the military. But the resolute advocates featured in The Burden are determined to break the energy impasse in order to improve American security and prosperity.

Running Time: 40 minutes

Grades 9 - Adult

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

A Film by Roger Sorkin


Gen. James Amos, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
Gen. Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.), former commander, U.S. Central Command
Hon. Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy
Hon. Sharon Burke, Former Assistant Secretary of Defense
Hon. Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of the Navy
Cdr. Blake McBride, USN, Deputy Chief, Task Force Climate Change
Col. Bob Charette, USMC, Director, Expeditionary Energy Office
Vice Adm. Phil Cullom, USN, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations
Capt. Wayne Porter, USN, former strategist, Joint Chiefs of Staff
Hon. Bob Inglis (R-SC), former U.S. Congressman
Mayor Gregory Ballard (R), City of Indianapolis (USMC - Ret.)
Lt. Col. David Preston, U.S. Army
Robin Eckstein, Iraq war veteran
Jon Gensler, West Point graduate, Iraq war veteran
Steven Mentor, Afghanistan and Iraq war veteran