As visions of the fine work to be done by the Congressional Super Committee dance in our heads, the sounds of axes being sharpened at the Pentagon have drifted over to Foggy Bottom. Late last week, the co-chair of the Congressional Defense Energy Security Caucus (DESC) sent a letter to new SecDef Leon Panetta, urging him to prioritize DoD’s energy policies and budgets so that they are not disproportionally hacked when axe swinging time arrives.
In part, the letter said, "Investments in smart energy plans will not only show returns in security and mission success, but they will contribute to future cost savings and have a unique opportunity to help foster innovative and diverse energy and clean technologies to strengthen our economy".
The letter was co-signed by Reps. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.; Jack Kingston, R-Ga.; and the office of Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who also serve as caucus co-chairs. Representative Kingston has an extremely credible voice in this argument. His 1st District is home to no less than five major bases.
In my original post on the DESC I mentioned that the role of the Caucus “educate members of Congress and the public on the strategic value of utilizing sustainable energy sources for the U.S. military, highlight and support established and emerging defense energy initiatives, and find solutions to energy challenges facing the Department of Defense (DoD)”. Looks like DoD itself may be getting schooled.
Prioritizing these efforts higher in the food chain may not look like it makes sense from a tactical level, but from a strategic point of view, if DoD doesn’t lead, who will? If energy security is not a Defense mission, whose is it? What I really want to know is: Who is going to write the letter back?? Dan Nolan