The military has been moving full force into the energy efficiency space. Now it might get a little help.
On Thursday, a bipartisan group of congressmen announced the launch of the Defense Energy Security Caucus, a government group that will focus on educating Congress and the American people on the importance of deploying sustainable and renewable energy solutions in the US military.
“Working together, I believe we can transform the way the Department uses energy, which will improve capabilities for our warfighters, cut costs for American taxpayers, and ultimately save lives,” said Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs, Sharon Burke.
The Caucus brings Gen. David Petraeus’ recent memorandum on energy issues to the fore. In it he wrote that a tremendous number of American soldiers’ lives had been lost transporting fuel along supply lines, deaths that could have been prevented if resources were used more sparingly.
“We have lost many lives delivering fuel to bases around Afghanistan,” Petraeus wrote. “We can and will do better.”
The Caucus was formed by Representatives Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), Jack Kingston (R-GA) and the office of Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). Earl Blumenauer, Gerry Connolly, Randy Forbes, John Garamendi, Colleen Hanabusa, Jay Inslee, Steve Israel, Adam Kinzinger, Jim Langevin, Mike Turner and Madelleine Bordallo are also members of the group.
Bartlett said he believed the Caucus would allow various focus groups within the government to come together and help the army in its efforts to use energy more efficiently.
“Those of us on the Armed Services, Energy and Commerce, Appropriations and other committees in the Congress can work together to most effectively assist our Armed Forces to succeed in the vital effort to reduce the vulnerabilities from oil for the men and women in our military,” he said.
The Caucus also bring in groups outside of Congress, including the Department of Defense, the Armed Forces and various experts from the energy industry.
Photo Caption: (From left to right) Aneesh Chopra, assistant to the President and Federal chief technology officer, General Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff, US army and General Norton Schwartz, chief of staff, US Air Force participate in an Energy Security Event and round table discussion on ‘Empowering Defense through Energy Security’ and moderated by Sharon Burke (far right), director of the office of Operational Energy on October 13, 2010 at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.