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Exploding Fuel Tankers Driving U.S. Army to Solar Power

Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan torched a dozen tankers carrying fuel to NATO troops and killed a driver, police said, the latest strike against supply convoys heading for Afghanistan since Pakistan shut a key border crossing in this 2010 file photo.

The U.S. Army is spending billions of dollars shifting toward solar energy, recycled water and better-insulated tents. The effort isn’t about saving the Earth.
Obama Unveils Climate Plan Focused on Power Plants
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June 25 (Bloomberg) — U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about his plan to address climate change. Obama, speaking at Georgetown University in Washington, proposed a sweeping plan that sets goals to reduce carbon emissions and bolster renewable energy while also preparing the country for the impacts of a warming planet. (Source: Bloomberg)
Enlarge image Solar Power in Afghanistan

A solar-powered system by Sundial Capital Partners powers a building off of the grid in Afghanistan. Source: Sundial Capital Partners via Bloomberg

Instead, commanders have found they can save lives through energy conservation. It’s especially true in Afghanistan, where protecting fuel convoys is one of the most dangerous jobs, with one casualty for every 24 missions in some years.

With renewable energy, “there is no supply chain vulnerability, there are no commodity costs and there’s a lower chance of disruption,” Richard Kidd, the deputy assistant secretary of the Army in charge of energy security, said in an interview. “A fuel tanker can be shot at and blown up. The sun’s rays will still be there.”

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