Energy Efficiency in the Military Would Save Lots of Lives and Money

A NATO oil tanker truck was blown up by insurgents at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border last week, and while no one was injured, the incident temporarily closed the Khyber Pass, the main supply artery for Western troops in the Afghan theater. This has become an all-too-routine occurrence; in the last nine years some 1,000 Americans have been killed on fuel-related missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Keeping our bases and units supplied with fuel endangers not just the lives of many soldiers manning the tanker convoys, it also drains $24 billion a year from the Pentagon budget.

The solution: a Defense Department policy requiring all structures in the combat zone be energy-efficient. 

A 2007 Army study found that spraying foam insulation on the exterior of inefficient structures reduced their energy requirements by over 80% while improve the quality of life for the troops living in them.

Because of that, we implemented a $95 million pilot in Iraq. Although a study last year confirmed this initiative was saving about $1 billion a year and taking more than 11,000 fuel trucks off the road, the pilot hasn’t been broadened.

Read the full blog in the NY Times:

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