This morning, the Pew Project on National Security, Energy, and Climate hosted a media briefing to mark the release of a letter signed by retired military and civilian national security leaders that called for support of energy innovation at the Department of Defense.
The briefing featured former Senator John Warner, who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee and served as the Secretary of the Navy, along with two retired Marine Generals, ASP Board Member John Castellaw and General Anthony Jackson.
Senator Warner began by noting that just a few weeks ago, the nation’s capitol suffered through a heat wave and rash of power outages that essentially brought the city to a stop; he said that the military does not have the luxury of being able to simply stop. It needs assured, secure sources of energy for operations at any time in any place.
General Jackson noted that dependence on oil is a prime factor for what he termed as the 22-year long war in the Middle East – dating to the first Gulf War. This war shows how the cost of oil dependence is greater than just money – it is the blood that has been spilled. He noted that the long quest for energy security has thus far gone underfunded, saying “we haven’t invested enough for the generations to come.”
General Castellaw noted that oil presents the military with a “strategic, operational, and tactical vulnerability.” One of the developing alternatives to oil is biofuel- an industry that could provide a viable, drop-in replacement for petroleum-based fuels. The military has the opportunity to help develop a new industry – just like it did with steel, the internet, or superconductors.
LISTEN TO THE FULL BRIEFING
There was many reporters in attendance or on the phone. Here are some of the stories that have been written:
The Guardian: US navy veterans urge Congress to fund ‘critical’ Green Fleet programme
Dayton Business Journal: Group pushes for clean energy for U.S. military
EcoWatch: Veterans Tell Department of Defense to Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence and Develop Renewables
The San Diego Union-Tribune: Veterans back military’s role in biofuels
The DOD must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and deploy clean energy technology