Securing America's Future Energy

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According to its website, Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that works to reduce America's dependence on oil, educating policy makers and advocating for comprehensive energy reform.

"Since its founding, SAFE has employed innovative strategies to overcome policy stagnation.

"SAFE made its public launch in 2005 with the first presentation of its Oil ShockWave Executive Crisis Simulation, a fast-paced, realistic war games exercise.

"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 U.S. oil dependence. Later that year, 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." [1]


The Energy Policy Information Center (EPIC) is a site composed of legislative updates, analysis, expert commentary, and news reports on important domestic and global energy developments.

Oil Shockwave is a scenario exercise in which top former government officials take part in a series of meetings over a length of time in order to advise the President on how to respond to a series of events that would affect world oil supplies. The simulation is set six months into the future to provide distance from current events.

For a more detailed description of SAFE's projects, please see: [1]

Funding and Lobbying

Jonathan Grella, SAFE's senior vice president said that the group is funded through foundations and individuals and that it does not take money from oil companies. However, SAFE spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the Downey McGrath Group, a lobbying firm whose past clients include energy companies like Chevron, the Standard Renewable Energy Group, several foreign countries and the Albright Group. [2] The organization spent $20,000 on the Downey McGrath Group in 2006 [2]; $160,000 in 2007 [3]; and $150,000 in 2008. [4]

Spousal ties to lobbying

Carol Browner, wife of the founder chairman of the Downey/McGrath Group, was named Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change in 2009.[3] In 2006, Downey and Browner worked together on issues related to a Dubai firm's purchase of a U.S. port operator. Barack Obama's selection of Browner to a high-level position illustrated a potential loophole in his pledge of keeping special interests at a distance.[4] However, since taking her position in the Obama administration, Browner's husband, Downey, has severed all ties and no longer represents SAFE. [5]

Leadership Council

"The Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) brings together some of America’s most prominent business and military leaders to support a comprehensive, long-term policy to reduce U.S. oil dependence and improve energy security. The ESLC works aggressively to build bipartisan support.

"The ESLC is led by Co-Chairman Fredrick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, and General James Conway (Ret.), former Marine Corps Commandant, in the company of Chairman Emeritus, General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), former Marine Corps Commandant and member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff." [5]

Leadership (2010)

People related to Securing America's Future Energy [6]:

It should be noted that multiple council members and co-chairs have interests in the oil industry or in industries heavily reliant on oil. For instance, Frederick W. Smith is a member of the National Petroleum Council; Vernon E. Clark is the director of Rolls-Royce North America Inc.; and Herbert D. Kelleher is the chairman emeritus of Southwest Airlines Co. Muckety provides an excellent interactive map showing the relationships among the people, companies, and organizations associated with SAFE.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Securing America’s Future Energy History, accessed December 21, 2019.
  2. SAFE lobbying expenses 2006, Open Secrets.
  3. SAFE lobbying expenses 2007, Open Secrets.
  4. SAFE lobbying expenses 2008, Open Secrets.
  5. Securing America’s Future Energy Leadership, accessed December 21, 2019.