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NC Military Bases Fight for Sustainability

May 18, 2011

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Fort Bragg is one of many military bases and installations working toward higher energy efficiency and independence. The Army base is using cutting-edge technology including solar power, biofuels and thermal-energy storage.

Former Sen. John Warner, R-Va., toured the Fayetteville base this week to understand what military leadership there has done to make the installation more sustainable.

"The Pentagon - Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps - is the largest single entity in the world in terms of use of energy."

Warner is serving as senior policy adviser to the Pew Project on National Security, Energy and Climate, which is working to bring together economic, scientific and military communities to make the nation more energy efficient.

When in combat, securing fuel is often a dangerous proposition. According to Pew, one soldier is killed for every 24 fuel convoys - and 6,000 such convoys are required annually in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's how better fuel efficiency can actually save lives, Warner says.

"It's a risk element for these young men and women. Fuel that they require is often brought to them through dangerous modes."

The Department of Defense accounts for nearly 80 percent of the government's total energy consumption.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC