According to officials from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the military uses 300,000 barrels of oil per day. Delivering fuel to our troops comes with a high price, in terms of added cost, risk of life, and lost operational flexibility–and according to Deputy Secretary Dan Poneman, a gallon of fuel can cost $40 or more in theater of war. In order to decrease costs while protecting lives–and benefiting the environment–the DOD and the Department of Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating their shared goal to accelerate clean energy innovations and enhance national energy security.
At a recent forum at the White House, more than 130 stakeholders– civilian and uniformed officials from the Department of Defense (DOD) and our armed services, policy makers from the Department of Energy (DOE), think tanks, and business entrepreneurs – came together to discuss the importance of clean energy in terms of national security. At the forum, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the Navy’s progress in greening its fleet, powering its jets with biofuels, and testing new, experimental technology in efficiency and alternative energy. He also emphasized how much further the military has to go to ensure energy independence.
The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Deputy Secretary Poneman and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn and presented at the forum, covers efforts in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, water efficiency, fossil fuels, alternative fuels, efficient transportation technologies and fueling infrastructure, grid security, smart grid, storage, waste-to-energy, basic science research, mobile/deployable power, small modular reactor nuclear energy, and related areas.
“The Department of Energy and the Department of Defense’s shared vision of a safe, secure energy future has provided us with a strong foundation to work together on energy issues,” said Deputy Secretary Poneman, in a statement. “Working together, we can speed the transition to a clean energy economy, while helping protect our troops. Building a new energy future is the right thing to do to strengthen our national security, to promote economic prosperity, and to improve our environment. It is also the right thing to do for our men and women in uniform.”