Both the civilian and military sectors have key roles to play in achieving energy security as the United States addresses the national security implications of its oil dependency. Yesterday, the White House hosted a forum with senior officials from both the public and private sector to highlight avenues toward achieving that security. Co-hosts Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman and Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn were joined by Woodrow Wilson Center President Jane Harman, John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, and John Deutch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The panelists discussed ongoing cooperation between the Department of Energy and Department of Defense, and Harman in particular highlighted the power of the military to drive innovation and more efficient production of energy-efficient technologies.
“‘Energy security’…reminds us that important domestic energy developments have international consequences, and important international events have domestic consequences,” said Deutch, pointing out the linked, global nature of energy markets and climate change.
Deputy Secretary Lynn highlighted the tactical tactical benefits of reduced petroleum dependence with the example of a solar panel pilot program being conducted by the Marine Corps in Afghanistan:
The regiment selected to try out the solar panels deployed to one of the most violent districts in Helmand province. The operational gains were immediate: Marines ran two patrol bases completely on solar power and cut diesel fuel consumption at a third base by over 90 percent. On one three-week foot patrol, flexible solar panels eliminated battery resupply needs entirely, ending supply drops that previously were required every 48 hours.Watch the full forum above, and see also the recent National Conversation at the Woodrow Wilson Center that focused on “A New National Security Narrative.”