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Operation Sustainability: U.S. Military Sets Ambitious Environmental Goals

DoD understands the energy crunch…

In 2009 alone, the military consumed some 375,000 barrels of oil per day, more than three-quarters of all other countries on the planet. To put that in perspective, Nigeria — with a population of more than 140 million — consumes about the same amount.

During the decades of cheap fuel and easy access, feeding this complex system spread over 820 global installations was of little concern. In today’s economic climate, however, the Department of Defense (DoD) has had to adapt its energy strategy. 

“The stakes could not be higher,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement earlier this year. “Energy reform will make us better fighters. In the end, it is a matter of energy independence and it is a matter of national security. Our dependence on foreign sources of petroleum makes us vulnerable in too many ways.”

According to a recent report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the DoD is taking aim at its annual $15 billion energy budget with a focus on efficiency and development of renewable, clean fuels — three areas that are pivotal in the race to create a more efficient fighting force and strengthen America’s energy independence. 


As the world’s largest single consumer of liquid fuels, the DoD is taking ambitious steps to source alternatives. The Obama administration recently announced a joint partnership between private-sector companies, the Department of Agriculture, U.S. Navy, and the Department of Energy to invest $510 million in biofuel production over three years. …

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