Monday, October 13, 2008

True Pentagon Energy Leadership ... or Base-by-Base Initiative?

In yesterday's post I highlighted some of the findings of a recent IEEE paper on current and coming alt energy deployments in DOD. What I didn't get a chance to point out was the paper's mixed message on leadership. On one hand, IDA consultant Thomas Morehouse was quoted as saying that recent regulation has had little bearing on DOD energy actions:
"There is no energy policy. There is no coordinated Defense Department program for renewable energy deployment and no single office in the Pentagon that tracks it ... The projects so far happened largely because ... a particular base commander somewhere [is] enthusiastic about doing this and puts in the effort to make it happen."
On the other hand, the author paraphrases Commander Brad Hancock, DOD Assoc Dir for Energy and Utilities, as saying the military is "more than on track" to reach its 2025 goals.

From what I can tell, whether or not it is organizing as formally as it should to get this work done, the combination of light regulatory guidance supported by some leadership at the top, is helping. Combined with the initiative of numerous base and mission support group commanders who want to see their bases (and the DOD in general) do better in the age of massive energy uncertainty, and who work within extremely tight budgets, it appears the DOD is moving in the right direction. And hopefully, at the right speed.

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