Yesterday, Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) unveiled a bill he is cosponsoring with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) that would “require the military to step up efforts to find alternatives to oil.” Their bill, the Department of Defense Energy Security Act, will add a $3 billion provision to the Senate’s military spending plan encouraging efficiency, biofuels, and other alternative energy. “It’s what we owe ourselves and our children and their children,” Udall told reporters. “It’s what we owe to the men and women who have been serving so valiantly in Iraq and Afghanistan.” By using “energy smarter and more efficiently,” the Udall-Giffords bill will save lives of troops and protect the planet for future generations:
Osama bin Laden reportedly called our fuel convoys the military’s “umbilical cord.” We risk the lives of thousands of troops each year because of our dependence on fossil fuel in theater and at home. We owe it to our troops and the American people to find ways to use energy smarter and more efficiently.
The military now spends $20 billion a year on energy, consuming 135 million barrels of oil and 30 million megawatt-hours of electricity.
“The goal of the bill is straightforward,” Gavi Begtrup, policy advisor to Giffords explained. “It will enhance our energy security and make our armed forces more agile and more lethal.”