US Marine General: renewables are vital for national security.

Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer in REW: “After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps for 36 years, I joined CNA’s Military Advisory Board (CNA MAB), a panel of some of the nation’s highest-ranking retired admirals and generals who study pressing issues that affect national security. Energy is one of those issues.” “The CNA MAB’s conclusion: America’s over-reliance on oil is a national security threat – economically, militarily and diplomatically. ….America sends nearly one billion dollars per day overseas to purchase foreign oil. It is undeniable that some of that money ends up in the hands of groups that wish to do us harm. We cannot afford to be in the position of funding both sides of the war against terrorism, from either a security or an economic standpoint. / We cannot simply drill our way out of the oil problem. ….In its latest report, the CNA MAB called for a 30 percent reduction in overall American oil consumption. Not only would this help our nation weather any serious interruption in worldwide oil flows, it would also improve our overall economic and national security. And it is doable. We can get there by using energy more efficiently, while developing and deploying renewables and alternative fuels. ….While commanding multinational troops in Iraq’s Anbar Province during the “Anbar Awakening,” I saw how fuel convoys made attractive targets for enemy forces. Protecting oil fields and transporting fuel also diverted resources and manpower away from the military mission.  Oil was, and still is, our “Achilles’ heel” on the battlefield. A Marine Corps evaluation found that fuel and water convoys accounted for 10% of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan./ Oil also leaves our military vulnerable to volatile price shocks. Every $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil costs the Pentagon approximately $1.3 billion dollars.  This puts a tremendous strain on our military budget, especially considering the amount of oil the military consumes today. Today’s average soldier consumes 22 gallons of gas per day. And last year, the Pentagon spent over $17 billion on fuel.”