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FL Military Bases Play Energy Conservation Role

May 20, 2011

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - Eglin Air Force Base is one of many military installations working toward higher energy efficiency and independence. The sprawling base is using solar power, biofuels and thermal-energy storage.

Former Sen. John Warner, R-Va., has been reviewing military energy conservation and says it's a massive undertaking.

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

"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.

Les Coleman, Public News Service - FL