US energy use a national security threat: study

By | May 18, 2009

US energy use a national security threat study

US dependence on fossil fuels and a vulnerable electric grid pose a perilous threat to the country’s national security, retired military officers warned Monday in a report.

The threat requires urgent action and the Defense Department should lead the way in transforming America’s energy use by aggressively pursuing efficiency measures and renewable sources, said the report by CNA, a nonprofit research group.

“Our dependence on foreign oil reduces our international leverage, places our troops in dangerous global regions, funds nations and individuals who wish us harm, and weakens our economy,” it said.

“The market for fossil fuels will be shaped by finite supplies and increasing demand. Continuing our heavy reliance on these fuels is a security risk,” said the report titled “Powering America’s Defense: Energy and the Risks to National Security.”

The authors, top ranked retired officers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, also point to the strained domestic electricity network as a possible hazard for US military bases.

“Our domestic electrical system is also a current and significant risk to our national security: many of our large military installations rely on power from a fragile electrical grid that is vulnerable to malicious attacks or interruptions caused by natural disasters,” it said.

President Barack Obama’s new administration needs to begin making energy and climate change goals a key element of all national security and military planning, the report said.

The report said diminishing supplies of oil combined with the impact of climate change would feed instability around the world.

The study said “the effects of global climate change will pose serious threats to water supplies and agricultural production, leading to intense competition for essentials,” said one of the officers behind the report, retired Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, former commander of the US Third Fleet.

“The US cannot assume that we will be untouched by these conflicts. We have to understand how these conflicts could play out, and prepare for them,” he said in a statement.

via US energy use a national security threat: study.

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