In a White House directive to make federal agencies more environmentally friendly, the Department of Defense has vowed to cut use of fuel and water in the military by 20 percent over the next 10 years.
The measures will include building improvement, using renewable sources of energy, and emphasizing telework and less air travel for workers.
“Our military’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels creates significant risks and costs at a tactical, as well as a strategic level,” said Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton B. Carter. “We measure these costs in lost dollars, in reduced mission effectiveness, and in U.S. soldiers’ lives. Freeing warfighters from the tether of fuel will significantly improve our mission effectiveness, as will reducing our installations’ dependence on costly fossil fuels and a potentially fragile power grid.”
Shannon Cunniff, the department’s director of chemical and material risk management, said implementing the plan will not be easy, but it will be rewarding.
“We’ll lower our vulnerabilities associated with reliance on fossil fuels and a fragile power grid, and preserve other assets critical to our readiness and training and, over the long run, we’ll save money by doing so. It’s a win-win-win [situation].”
To keep the government agencies accountable, the Office of Management and Budget will evaluate the success of the environmental plan on an annual basis.