Navy brass is pushing for GOP President-elect Donald Trump to keep green energy projects alive in the military to combat climate change.
At a recent exhibition of renewable energy technology at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps base, Navy leadership touted the benefits of moving away from fossil fuels, claiming that scrapping these programs would be a major mistake, The Associated Press reports.
The Pentagon has made it a major priority to fight climate change and invest in alternative energy research programs, even going so far as to state plainly that climate change is a national security threat.
Some of the programs displayed at the base recently include a drone that uses solar power and a Marine walking around with generators attached to his legs, in order to recharge a battery-powered radio.
“To do something other than continue these programs would be a mistake,” said Joe Bryan, the Navy’s deputy assistant secretary for energy. “My expectation is that will be recognized no matter where people are on the political spectrum.”
As such, for Bryan, it would be “shortsighted” for the military not to continue these research programs.
There are several reasons the Pentagon has for pursuing alternative energy policies. The first is that climate change has resulted in rising sea levels that threaten Navy bases. The second reason, held by Trump’s pick for secretary of defense, retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, is that renewable energy could end the need for risky logistical maneuvers to transport fuel to troops in high-risk zones.
Trump, along with many other Republican legislators, have downplayed the risk of climate change and blasted wasteful spending related to these programs, but Mattis backed the Joint Operating Environment when he served as commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command in 2010. The document lists climate change as a national security threat.
“From economic trends to climate change and vulnerability to cyber attack, we outline those trends that remind us we must stay alert to what is changing in the world if we intend to create a military as relevant and capable as we possess today,” Mattis stated in the document.
The Pentagon wants 25 percent of its power use to come from renewable energy by 2025. Under Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the Navy and Marine Corps have set a much more ambitious goal of generating half of its total power through alternative energy by 2020.
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