Sunday, October 18, 2009

The U.S. military’s battle to wean itself off oil

The Pentagon is the largest consumer of petroleum in the United States.

Renewable energy is not an environmental consideration, it is a tactical necessity. It's a matter of life and death, of victory or defeat. Too many troops are dying in fuel convoys, and the relentless gasoline demands of the diesel generators are partly to blame.

In the summer of 2006, Marine Corps Major General Richard Zilmer sent the Pentagon an unusual “Priority 1” request for emergency battlefield supplies.
“a self-sustainable energy solution,” including “solar panels and wind turbines.” U.S. forces “will remain unnecessarily exposed” and will “continue to accrue preventable ... serious and grave casualties.”

After the DOD spent $95 million on insulating foam for base camps in Iraq, the agency earned that back in energy savings in just 60 days. The security benefits are perhaps more impressive: DOD data show that if all U.S. military base-camp tents in Iraq were spray-foamed, the number of fuel convoy trucks needed would be reduced by 13 per day.

Read The U.S. military’s battle to wean itself off oil

excerpted from Amanda Little’s book

Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells---Our Ride to the Renewable Future
by Amanda Grisc Little
ISBN13: 9780061353253
ISBN10: 0061353256

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