Excellent piece by Annie Snider in E&E about Senator Hagel’s nomination and the implication for DOD energy efforts. With Senator Inhofe as the Senate Armed Services Committee, it might be a bit contentious. Senator Udall has indicated that the $15B DOD energy budget will be a subject during the hearing.
With everything else that DOD has on their plate, I fear that energy will lose its luster. Ms. Burke and the senior Service energy gurus will keep up the fire, but with budget cuts, Afghan drawdown and a new SecDef, it will be hard to pick the signal from the noise. Hopefully, Hagel’s trips with Chuck Wald to visit energy rich African nations. It is great to have these natural resources, but if you don’t have security, you just create another single point of failure (SEE: Middle East).
Hagel is a good pick for the turbulent times ahead. He has addressed his “Jewish Lobbyists” comments that were really directed at lobbyists in general and the holding of an unthinking position in support of anything Israel does. Nations do not have friends; they have interests. I wish him well during what I believe will be a revelatory confirmation process (will McCann dis a fellow Vietnam Viet?) and a tumultuous tour as SecDef. It’s a big plate, Mr. Secretary; keep energy on it.
One more note. My favorite Operational Energy marauders, the USMC are at it again. Major Brandon Newell from the E2O reports that the Leathernecks are holding a Brief to Industry on Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources (MEHPS). Notice is on FedBizOpps. Be there or be square! Dan Nolan