June 09, 2015

Wyden Commits to Helping Our Military Become More Energy Efficient

WASHINGTON, D.C.. – Senators Ron Wyden and Mazie K. Hirono today highlighted their commitment to helping our military to become more energy efficient by introducing the Department of Defense Energy Security Act (DODESA) of 2015.

DODESA 2015 will help the Department of Defense (DOD)to reduce energy use and costs, improve energy efficiency, and advance the development of energy security technology.

While DOD has made great advances to address its energy security vulnerabilities in recent years, our military still needs a more comprehensive defense energy policy. DODESA 2015, championed in past Congresses by former Senator Mark Udall, expands on DOD’s efforts to improve energy efficiency and makes our military more efficient and more effective.

“When every fuel convoy is a potential target, saving energy means saving U.S. soldiers’ lives. That’s why Sen. Hirono and I are working to help our armed forces become less dependent on vulnerable fossil fuel supply lines, and make our nation more secure,” said Wyden, a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Sen. Hirono and I introduced our bill to build on the good work already being done by the Defense Department, based on advice of commanders on the ground. The Oregon National Guard is a national leader in reducing its reliance on the grid and Congress should support these efforts. This legislation provides incentives for continued investment in energy-savings technologies, research and more efficient use of energy at military installations.”

“If our military is going to effectively face 21st century global challenges, we have to get it free of the burden of 19th century energy sources. Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and increasing efficiency in how our military uses energy will make our warfighters and installations more effective and our nation more secure,” said Hirono, Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee. “Hawaii military installations are leading the way  in innovative energy security efforts and as we continue the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific we must ensure our military has the tools to increase energy self-sufficiency and efficiency. The Department of Defense Energy Security Act reduces the military’s reliance on fossil fuels by supporting efforts to improve efficiency, support better energy management and usage, research, and deployment of cleaner energy technologies, and better governance of the military’s energy programs.”

The DODESA 2015 would implement common-sense innovations that the military supports:

  • Continues DOD research and funding for more fuel efficient light tactical vehicles to allow military personnel to travel further on the same amount of fuel, reducing the need for refueling during combat.
  • Creates a central, online database that allows energy managers across DOD to view and share information on energy related program to enable inter-service collaboration and reduce redundant efforts.
  • Begins a program to develop and support secure and reliable sources of energy that measures the costs of installation energy assurance programs against the costs and risks associated with a sustained lack of access to power.
  • Allows reinvestment of savings realized from smart energy programs into other energy-reduction programs, creating a cycle of continued investment in energy-savings programs.
  • Authorizes investment in fueling infrastructure on military installations for alternative fuel vehicles.
  • Requires a study on the costs and benefits of requiring 25 percent of the National Guard and Reserve facilities to have at least a 21 day on-site power storage capacity to assist with support in case of manmade or natural disasters.
  • Develops a plan for integrating energy storage, small-scale electric grids technologies, and on-site power generation at critical military installations that are at risk of power interruptions.

Click here to read the full text of the bill.