US Inaugurates Defense Energy Working Group
In three years, the price of oil has risen from $30 a barrel to about $80. The US military reportedly represents 97% of the US federal government’s energy costs and now spends more than $10 billion a year on fuel, $4.7 billion of which went to pay for Air Force jet fuel. Meanwhile, the US Army Corps of Engineers sees energy use as a future operational issue for US bases and forces on the ground, and the Pentagon is taking a closer look at alternative energy options. Including new options for jet fuel and naval propulsion.
Along similar lines, Congressional Reps. Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD] and Steve Israel [D-NY – and see his blog also] recently inaugurated a bipartisan panel called the Defense Energy Working Group. Its goals include attracting other members of Congress to the working group, channeling funds for advanced energy initiatives in the Pentagon via federal incentives & handouts, and bringing in sectors like business and universities to collaborate. “Our reliance on foreign energy is a glaring military vulnerability,” Israel said. “It’s a fundamental national security issue.”
Former CIA chief James Woolsey, the Chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board Policy Panel on DoD Energy Strategy, and an Advisory Board Member of the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), will also serve in the group. Woolsey is scheduled to address an energy security forum at the National Defense University later in 2006. For those wishing a preview, Transcripts and video of his appearance at the Pentagon’s recent Crystal City, VA conference are available.