Military Leaders Push for Alternative Energy

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

A new group of advocates for renewable and alternative energy plan is emerging: veterans and retired military leaders. A national advocacy group called “Operation Free” organized a panel of speakers in Anchorage Tuesday.

The nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and climate change are already leading to increased costs for the military, says Retired Marine Corps Lieutenant General John Castellaw. And he says leaders are considering what to do about military bases that will be under water due to rising ocean levels.  The military is also getting hit by the rising cost of fuel, which, in Afghanistan, is soaring:

The group says climate change will bring increased instability due to shortages of water and food, mass migrations and natural disasters as well as extremism and terrorism. The U.S. military may need to intervene to protect countries with extensive oil reserves. U. S. Senator Mark Begich says America’s dependence on oil is undermining its strategic position in the world:

Operation Free says the U.S. is paying Iran $100-million a year for oil.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees, Begich says he’s learned that the U.S. Department of Defense is the nation’s largest energy consumer. He noted that it’s also the largest developer of renewable and alternative energy.

As a nation, though, Begich says we’re losing jobs to other countries. A few years ago China produced 5-percent of the world’s solar panels, and now produces 60-percent, even though solar panel technology was invented in the United States.

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