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Senator Warner and Vice Admiral McGinn Discuss Energy Security, Fuel Economy

Press Release

This week, former Navy secretary and U.S. senator John W. Warner (R-Va.) is traveling with Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn (Ret.), vice chairman of the CNA Military Advisory Board, as part of a national tour to discuss security threats caused by the United States' dependence on foreign sources of energy with veterans and clean energy businesses.


Pew hosts public forum in Akron and Cleveland

WASHINGTON (August 12, 2011)—Former Navy secretary and U.S. senator John W. Warner (R-Va.), senior policy adviser to the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate, and Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn (Ret.), vice chairman of the CNA Military Advisory Board, discussed security threats posed by the nation’s energy posture with veterans and clean-energy business leaders in Akron and Cleveland on Aug. 12.

Warner and McGinn spoke about how the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is leading efforts to deploy alternative fuels, new vehicle technologies and energy-efficiency projects in order to protect service members, save money and reduce risk. The department is the federal government’s largest energy consumer, using more than 350,000 barrels of oil a day in 2009. Over the past 50 years, the fuel requirement to support each deployed U.S. soldier has increased from five gallons a day to more than 22.

“It is no secret that our nation is heavily dependent on importing foreign oil,” Warner said. “The consequences are experienced not only here at home, but by the brave men and women in uniform serving on their bases and stations and particularly those serving on foreign deployments. Under the strong leadership of former secretary of defense Robert Gates, and now Secretary Leon Panetta, the Department of Defense is exercising effective internal policies and practices, especially setting aggressive energy-efficiency goals to lessen our dependence and to enhance our nation’s energy security. I commend our armed services for being on the front lines of energy innovation, efficiency and technological advances.”

Today, the United States imports more than half of the oil it consumes—sending $1 billion a day overseas. In May, it spent $39.8 billion on oil imports totaling 60 percent of the U.S. trade deficit, the highest level in nearly three years. This is of particular consequence to the military. For every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, the department pays an additional $1.3 billion. This dependence poses more than geopolitical risks and a financial burden to the United States. According to the DoD, fuel convoys into Afghanistan were attacked 1,100 times in 2010, leading to more than 3,000 killed or wounded service members and supporting contractors.

“Domestically produced energy makes America more secure and prosperous,” said McGinn, “A diverse portfolio of energy choices—including petroleum, biofuels, electric vehicles, natural gas and fuel cells, combined with measures such as fuel efficiency—reduces risk. We need to stop talking about it; put the rudder over and get on course.”

Warner and McGinn pointed to other government actions to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, including the Obama administration’s recent proposal to increase auto fuel-efficiency standards for model years 2017-25 to 54.5 mpg.

“The administration’s recent proposed rule on fuel-efficiency standards is an important step in reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Requiring cars and trucks to go farther on a gallon of gas will not only save consumers about 12 billion barrels of oil and $1.7 trillion at the pump; it will also spur technological innovation,” said Phyllis Cuttino, who directs Pew’s clean energy and national security programs. “To achieve these savings, it’s important that the proposed efficiency standard is preserved and not watered down.”

Warner and McGinn spoke at the City Club of Cleveland and toured the Goodyear Innovation Center in Akron. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. is the exclusive developer of fuel-efficient military tires for the U.S. Army’s Fuel Efficient Ground Vehicle Demonstrator program.

The Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate is dedicated to highlighting the critical linkages between national security, energy independence, the economy and climate change.

CNA’s Military Advisory Board is an elite group of retired three- and four-star flag and general officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps that studies pressing issues of the day to assess their impact on U.S. national security.

For more information, please visit www.PewTrusts.org/EnergySecurity or www.CNA.org.


Pew hosts public forum in Pittsburgh

WASHINGTON (August 11, 2011)—Former Navy secretary and U.S. senator John W. Warner (R-Va.), senior policy adviser to the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate, and Vice Adm. Dennis V. McGinn (Ret.), vice chairman of the CNA Military Advisory Board, discussed security threats posed by the nation’s energy posture with veterans and clean-energy business leaders in Pittsburgh on Aug. 10 and 11.

Warner and McGinn spoke about how the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is leading efforts to deploy alternative fuels, new vehicle technologies and energy-efficiency projects in order to protect service members, save money and reduce risk. The department is the federal government’s largest energy consumer, using more than 350,000 barrels of oil a day in 2009. Over the past 50 years, the fuel requirement to support each deployed U.S. soldier has increased from five gallons a day to more than 22.

“It is no secret that our nation is heavily dependent on importing foreign oil,” Warner said. “The consequences are experienced not only here at home, but by the brave men and women in uniform serving on their bases and stations and particularly those serving on foreign deployments. Under the strong leadership of former secretary of defense Robert Gates, and now Secretary Leon Panetta, the Department of Defense is exercising effective internal policies and practices, especially setting aggressive energy-efficiency goals to lessen our dependence and to enhance our nation’s energy security. I commend our armed services for being on the front lines of energy innovation, efficiency and technological advances.”

Today, the United States imports more than half of the oil it consumes—sending $1 billion a day overseas. In May, it spent $39.8 billion on oil imports totaling 60 percent of the U.S. trade deficit, the highest level in nearly three years. This is of particular consequence to the military. For every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil, the department pays an additional $1.3 billion. This dependence poses more than geopolitical risks and a financial burden to the United States. According to the DoD, fuel convoys into Afghanistan were attacked 1,100 times in 2010, leading to more than 3,000 killed or wounded service members and supporting contractors.

“Domestically produced energy makes America more secure and prosperous,” said McGinn, “A diverse portfolio of energy choices—including petroleum, biofuels, electric vehicles, natural gas and fuel cells, combined with measures such as fuel efficiency—reduces risk. We need to stop talking about it; put the rudder over and get on course.”

Warner and McGinn pointed to other government actions to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, including the Obama administration’s recent proposal to increase auto fuel-efficiency standards for model years 2017-25 to 54.5 mpg.

“The administration’s recent proposed rule on fuel-efficiency standards is an important step in reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Requiring cars and trucks to go farther on a gallon of gas will not only save consumers about 12 billion barrels of oil and $1.7 trillion at the pump; it will also spur technological innovation,” said Phyllis Cuttino, who directs Pew’s clean energy and national security programs. “To achieve these savings, it’s important that the proposed efficiency standard is preserved and not watered down.”

Warner and McGinn joined veterans, national security professionals and clean-energy business leaders at a reception at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum on Aug. 10 and keynoted a breakfast briefing at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh on Aug. 11.

The Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate is dedicated to highlighting the critical linkages between national security, energy independence, the economy and climate change.

CNA’s Military Advisory Board is an elite group of retired three- and four-star flag and general officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps that studies pressing issues of the day to assess their impact on U.S. national security.

For more information, please visit www.PewTrusts.org/EnergySecurity or www.CNA.org.

 

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