Military leads in clean energy deployment
By Chris Dennett, Environmental Entrepreneurs
Chris Dennett is a systems and analytics manager at Regence and the Pacific Northwest chapter manager for Environmental Entrepreneurs, E2.
From Air Force jets that run on biofuels to front-line Army bases that are powered by the sun, the military doesn’t mess around with politics when it comes to clean energy – it’s about saving lives and protecting the national interests of the United States.
With U.S. troops engaged in Afghanistan and other conflicts across the globe, and the economic recovery ongoing, the discussion will include three of the biggest issues that we face as a state and as a nation: the military, the economy, and the environment.
Military leaders have identified fossil fuel dependency as a strategic liability and energy efficiency as a national security priority. What’s more, these same leaders have said that climate change is a “threat multiplier” that has the potential to heighten geopolitical instability.
By investing billions of dollars in clean energy technologies, the military has been a leader in seeking solutions to these problems. For example, the Army is identifying ways to shorten long fuel convoy lines that leave soldiers vulnerable to deadly attacks. Last year, one out of every 24 fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered casualties.
The Air Force, meanwhile, spends about $8 billion a year on fuel and electricity.
So the incentive is there for the military to invest in clean energy. And as the military’s foresight helps bring these clean and efficient technologies to market, Oregon’s businesses can be in a position to profit from this transition.
Next Thursday, Oct. 11, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., a diverse group of distinguished civilian and military leaders will meet in Portland for a discussion called “Mission Critical: Clean Energy and the U.S. Military.” Topics covered will include Oregon’s 10-year Energy Plan and ways that the U.S. military’s transition to clean energy can spur economic expansion in Oregon.
Speaking at the event will be Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes; Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell of the Oregon National Guard; and Cmdr. James Marvin, a former Navy SEAL who is active in the Pacific Northwest chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs — E2 for short — a non-partisan, nonprofit group of business leaders who promote sound environmental policy that builds economic prosperity.
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