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updated: 7/16/2013 7:16 PM

Orland Park Veteran Meets with Senators to discuss Energy Policy

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Scott McPherson


Former USAF Captain Keith Pekau advocated for energy policies to strengthen national security

ORLAND PARK, ILLINOIS -- Former Air Force Captain Keith Pekau recently returned to Illinois after meeting with the staffs of Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk about important energy policies that Pekau said need immediate action.

Pekau, an Orland Park resident, was sent to DC by an organization called Vets4Energy, which is a group of distinguished retired veterans who encourage lawmakers to enact policies that would reduce America's dependency on foreign oil and increase national security.

A former Air Force Instructor Weapons System Officer, Pekau engaged both Senator's staffs in conversations related to the Keystone XL pipeline and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Vets4Energy strongly supports the Keystone XL pipeline because it would contribute to U.S. energy independence by transporting desperately needed domestic and Canadian oil to American refineries.

The State Department has conducted four separate environmental impact assessments that have repeatedly concluded that the pipeline would not have significant impacts on the environment. Despite the overwhelming public support for the pipeline, its final approval has been put on hold.

Pekau also encouraged Senators Durbin and Kirk to modify the RFS, a series of mandates for the production of renewable fuels established in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

In order to comply with RFS mandates, American fuel suppliers have been blending 10 percent ethanol content into fuel. They are approaching the point at which refiners are no longer able to meet the ethanol blending mandates. This will put refiners in the situation of either having to produce 15 percent ethanol or 85 percent ethanol, which could cause engine damage and hurt the economy.

"I know that Senators Durbin and Kirk are always fighting for what is best for Illinois and the United States," Pekau said. "I understand they alone do not have the authority to enact much needed energy security legislation but I encouraged them to be advocates among their colleagues."

Pekau's visit to Capitol Hill was the second year in a row that Vets4Energy flew in veterans from across the country to meet with members of Congress. Volunteers with Vets4Energy will continue to engage veterans in the 26 states it represents and ask that they too send the message to lawmakers that energy independence is key to national security.

About Retired Captain Keith Pekau

Pekau was an Air Force Instructor Weapons System Officer in an F-15E, logging over 1,500 hours and over 150 combat hours during three tours to Southwest Asia.

He graduated from Arizona State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University in 1997, graduating as a Fuqua Scholar.

He worked with L.E.K Consulting and Marakon Associates before becoming founding partner of Fahrenheit Consulting Group, LLC where he specializes in helping businesses assess their market positioning and develop growth strategies to improve shareholder value.

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