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Army Engineers' Green Agenda

Not that long ago, the idea of the Sierra Club and the Army Corps of Engineers working on the same side of an issue might've seemed silly. But these days, the Army sees dependence on foreign oil as a major national security risk. And so the engineers are calling on DC to make a bunch of changes straight out of the environmentalists' playbook -- like mandating better gas mileage and giving out tax credits for green energy. (Although the bit about "open[ing] up Federal lands for oil and natural gas" might not exactly be met with huzzahs at Sierra HQ.)p2005b.jpgTo sustain its mission and ensure its capability to project and support the forces, the Army must insulate itself from the economic and logistical energy-related problems coming in the near to mid future. This requires a transition to modern, secure, and efficient energy systems, and to building technologies that are safe and environmental friendlyMany of the issues in the energy arena are outside the control of the Army. Several actions are in the purview of the national government to foster the ability of all groups, including the Army, to optimize their natural resource management. The Army needs to present its perspective to higher authorities and be prepared to proceed regardless of the national measures that are taken. The following steps by the national government would help the Army with its energy challenges:

Increase supplies- Pull renewable technology markets to produce more cost effective solutions with tax incentives and large Federal applications.- Provide incentives for green power production through continued and expanded tax credits.- Open up Federal lands for oil and natural gas harvesting where environmentally appropriate.- Encourage the development of LNG terminals and infrastructure by streamlining approvals and assisting with local approvals.Modernize infrastructure.- Support modernizing and expanding the electricity grid.- Support the construction of a natural gas pipeline from AK and Canada.- Enhance the expansion of LNG terminals and natural gas infrastructure.Diversify sources.- Invest in research and development (R&D) in clean coal technologies, renewable technologies, carbon sequestration, breeder reactor nuclear power.- Invest in R&D in energy efficiency in the built environment.Optimize end-use.- Significantly increase Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards and expand to all classes of motor vehicles.- Expand rebate programs for hybrid vehicles.- Expand appliance and equipment efficiency standards as many states are doing.
UPDATE 12:15 PM: This newsletter from the U.S. Army Environmental Center gives a good round-up of some of the service's green projects -- from Ethanol pumps at Ft. Benning to sustainable construction at Ft. Lewis.(Big ups: RC)

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