By Ben Geman - 04/20/10 04:43 PM EDT
“The department is doing more than sounding an alarm; it has enacted energy goals and is inventing, testing and deploying new technologies and alternative fuels to meet those goals. The military is, in many respects, leading the way and helping to reenergize America's future,” said Phyllis Cuttino, director of Pew's climate and energy programs.
The stakes are pretty high for DoD, which according to Pew has an annual energy budget of roughly $20 billion and accounts for 80 percent of the federal government’s energy consumption.
“The department’s reliance on fossil fuels compromises combat effectiveness by restricting mobility, flexibility and endurance on the battlefield. Fuel logistics have inhibited the progress of U.S. forces driving into Iraq, and such limitations continue to impede operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the report states.
It also notes that every $10 increase in oil prices adds $1.3 billion in costs for the department.
The reports surveys efforts such as a U.S. Army initiative to ramp up use of electric vehicles, plans to use lighter power sources at overseas military bases, and the large solar installation that’s operating at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, to name a few.