USA — Department Hailed as Leader in ‘Green’ Movement

WASHINGTON — In a pre­lude to this week’s Earth Day events, a major inde­pen­dent research group today called the Defense Depart­ment a leader in ener­gy con­ser­va­tion. “The depart­ment is doing more than sound­ing an alarm; it has enact­ed ener­gy goals and is invent­ing, test­ing and deploy­ing new tech­nolo­gies and alter­na­tive fuels to meet those goals,” Phyl­lis Cut­ti­no, direc­tor of Pew Char­i­ta­ble Trusts’ cli­mate and ener­gy pro­grams, said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call to announce the program’s new report on mil­i­tary use and con­ser­va­tion of ener­gy.

“The mil­i­tary is, in many respects, lead­ing the way and help­ing to re-ener­gize America’s future,” she said.

The depart­ment is a prime con­sumer, Cut­ti­no not­ed, account­ing for 80 per­cent of the U.S. government’s ener­gy con­sump­tion, amount­ing to 330,000 bar­rels of oil and 3.8 bil­lion kilo­watts of elec­tric­i­ty per day for more than 500 major mil­i­tary instal­la­tions. But, she said, it is on its way to meet­ing its stat­ed goal of hav­ing 25 per­cent of its ener­gy come from renew­able sources by 2025.

The report, “Reen­er­giz­ing America’s Defense: How the Armed Forces Are Step­ping For­ward to Com­bat Cli­mate Change and Improve U.S. Ener­gy Pos­ture,” out­lines how the depart­ment and mil­i­tary ser­vices are mov­ing toward that goal. As with the cre­ation of the Inter­net and glob­al posi­tion­ing tech­nol­o­gy, the depart­ment is lead­ing the effort in dis­cov­er­ing ways to not only use less fuel, but also to use alter­na­tive fuels to reduce green­house gasses and be less reliant on for­eign oil, the report says.

Aman­da J. Dory, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for strat­e­gy; Navy Sec­re­tary Ray Mabus; and John W. Warn­er, a for­mer Navy sec­re­tary and U.S. sen­a­tor from Vir­ginia, took part in the report and the con­fer­ence call. They described the department’s efforts at ener­gy con­ser­va­tion and inno­va­tion as impor­tant to both nation­al secu­ri­ty and the envi­ron­ment. “The Depart­ment of Defense takes cli­mate change seri­ous­ly,” Dory said, adding that depart­ment offi­cials have “embraced” con­ser­va­tion in poli­cies and law, includ­ing acqui­si­tions. Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates iden­ti­fied ener­gy as one of the department’s top 25 trans­for­ma­tion­al pri­or­i­ties, and the Qua­dren­ni­al Defense Review, released Feb. 1, is the first strate­gic doc­u­ment to give “thor­ough treat­ment” to ener­gy issues, Dory said.

Depart­ment offi­cials rec­og­nize the link between cli­mate change and glob­al requests for U.S. mil­i­tary assis­tance, Dory said. In 2008 and 2009, the mil­i­tary had 120 requests to assist with nat­ur­al dis­as­ters such as hur­ri­canes and wild fires in the Unit­ed States, as well as 54 requests to respond to over­seas nat­ur­al dis­as­ters last year, she said.

Mabus said the Navy his­tor­i­cal­ly has been a leader in ener­gy changes – from sails to coal, from coal to fuel, and from fuel to nuclear ener­gy.

“Every sin­gle time,” he said, “it made our Navy and our Marine Corps more effi­cient and bet­ter fight­ers, and we’re absolute­ly con­fi­dent that it will be the case again this time.” By 2020, Navy offi­cials plan to have half of the service’s fuel use, both ashore and afloat, come from non-fos­sil sources, Mabus said. Offi­cials expect to cut fuel con­sump­tion for the Navy’s 50,000 non­com­bat vehi­cles with alter­na­tive meth­ods with­in five years, he said.

The decreas­ing reliance on fos­sil fuels “will make us bet­ter warfight­ers,” Mabus said, both strate­gi­cal­ly by reduc­ing depen­dence on oil from volatile nations, and tac­ti­cal­ly by free­ing up warfight­ers from deliv­er­ing as much fuel and reduc­ing the high-risk of attacks on con­voys that car­ry it.

Cut­ti­no not­ed that 70 per­cent of ton­nage shipped to the Iraqi war effort is fuel and water.

In Afghanistan, Mabus said, troops are using solar-pow­ered water purifi­ca­tion sys­tems to reduce the use of fos­sil fuels and the need to haul water. Marines there are using things such as spray-on insu­la­tion to keep tents warm in win­ter and cool in sum­mer, and Marines at Marine Corps Base Quan­ti­co in Vir­ginia are test­ing alter­na­tive fuels and oth­er prod­ucts to reduce the need to ship fuel to Afghanistan, he said.

Mabus gave oth­er exam­ples of how the Navy is going “green”:

— The Navy is devel­op­ing a “green” car­ri­er strike group to run com­plete­ly on alter­na­tive fuels by 2016, and this week plans to do a flight demon­stra­tion of the “Green Hor­net,” an F‑18 Super Hor­net pow­ered by a 50/50 bio­fu­el blend.

— The Navy last year com­mis­sioned the USS Makin Island, a large-deck amphibi­ous ship pro­pelled by both gas and elec­tric engines, expect­ed to save the ser­vice $25 mil­lion over the ship’s life­time.

— Naval Air Weapons Sta­tion Chi­na Lake, Calif. – the service’s largest land hold­ing – is being pow­ered sole­ly by geot­her­mal sources and has pro­duced enough geot­her­mal ener­gy to pro­vide for the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ty.

The Air Force also is test­ing bio­fu­els on its A‑10 Thun­der­bolt II and expects to have the Air Force Acad­e­my off the pub­lic elec­tri­cal grid by 2012, Dory said. And Army offi­cials in North Car­oli­na, Wash­ing­ton state and Hawaii are work­ing on trans­porta­tion pat­terns to reduce sin­gle-occu­pan­cy vehi­cles, she said.

“Every­where you go, you see that the Amer­i­can GI is fig­ur­ing out how to save ener­gy,” Warn­er said. “Every base in the coun­try has a plan to save ener­gy. This whole Defense Depart­ment is mobi­lized and think­ing green and I salute their efforts.”

Warn­er said he saw how short­ages of food and water from cli­mate change led to insta­bil­i­ty in places such as Soma­lia and Liberia, lead­ing to U.S. mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion.

“Ener­gy depen­dence and cli­mate change are clear­ly emerg­ing as added chal­lenges com­pli­cat­ing and expand­ing poten­tial mis­sions for our mil­i­tary,” he wrote in the report. “Yet, once again, our armed forces are prepar­ing to lead in address­ing exist­ing and emerg­ing nation­al secu­ri­ty chal­lenges.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →