ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Luddite White House Against A New Energy-Powered Pentagon
Will Trump disrupt the US military's clean energy mission? President Trump’s election has thrown climate goals in doubt, but former leaders say the military will keep investing in renewables
Herman K. Trabish, Feb. 3, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The military does not appear prepared to submit to the current administration’s Luddite attitudes about New Energy.
During President George W. Bush’s era, his administration directed the military to start procuring renewables and implement efficiency programs as early as 2003. The pace quickened under President Barack Obama, as utilities inked agreements to provide renewables to stateside bases, and the U.S. Navy built its Great Green Fleet that showed its ability to transition away from traditional fuel sources into more alternative methods. Many military leaders have come to see a shift to renewable energy as a way to make the U.S. soldier more effective.
Though a key argument over climate change as a national security threat could undermine some of the progress, military leaders say it’s unlikely a Trump administration will unravel these programs since they strengthen the United States’ fighting forces. The Department of Defense has laid out goals to obtain more of their energy from renewables. One goal plans to obtain 20% renewable energy by 2020, while another is to reduce the energy intensity of its facilities 37.5% below 2003 levels, also by 2020. These goals aim to reduce energy costs, which currently exceed $4 billion, or 26% of DOD expenditures. If successful, the DOD will be able to “increase future war-fighting capability” and “reduce logistics and operational risks from operational energy vulnerabilities,” while enhancing the effectiveness of their mission, according to the DoD 2016 Operational Energy Strategy… click here for more