The Department of Defense (DoD) accounts for 80 percent of the U.S. government’s energy consumption. Recognizing the security risks of its dependence on foreign oil, DoD (PDF) has taken numerous steps to reduce its energy burdens and improve efficiency. A delegation from the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate visited Fort Bragg to discuss and learn more about the military’s successful clean energy initiatives. Participants included Rep. Larry Kissell of North Carolina’s 8th District and John Warner, retired five-term U.S. Senator from Virginia, who also serves as a senior adviser to the Pew Project.
The group toured sites on the Army post and learned more about the steps that military and civilian personnel are taking to improve energy efficiency. Fort Bragg’s clean energy projects include solar power, combined heat and power (or recycling waste heat for power), biofuels and thermal energy storage. These initiatives are part of Army-wide goals to reduce energy consumption, increase energy efficiency across its platforms and facilities, increase use of renewable and alternative energy sources, ensure access to sufficient energy supplies and reduce adverse environmental impacts.
“Throughout my career, I have worked on behalf of the military and have seen first-hand the ingenuity and commitment of our uniformed men and women, and their civilian counterparts working with them, to meet America’s challenges,” said Sen. Warner, senior adviser to the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate.
“The United States military acknowledges that America’s dependence on foreign oil is costly, and the essential energy requirements of forward troop deployments add to those costs and, in certain situations, add personal risks to the mission. Fort Bragg is an outstanding example of the Army’s innovations to adopt clean energy technologies, improve energy efficiency, save money and minimize risks to troops.”
Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program, added, “As the government's largest energy consumer, the Department of Defense and the Army have recognized the critical importance of enhancing U.S. energy security. By reducing dependence on oil in the battlefield and increasing energy efficiency on bases, the Army is cutting costs, saving lives and reducing risk. Their leadership is clear. Now, Congress should follow the example of the Department of Defense and adopt practical national energy policies that enhance efficiency, reduce dependence on oil, deploy renewables and invest in new and alternative technologies.”
Gregory Bean, Director of Public Works, Ft. Bragg, explained, “Energy Security is vital to the continued operational success of Fort Bragg. We are improving our energy efficiency to reduce consumption and implementing advanced technology that makes sense for our region of the country. Our actions also are guided by the ever increasing responsibly of managing resources both for economic and ecological reasons.”