“There’s a clear nexus between our national security and our energy security,” former Senator John Warner said yesterday at a Senate Energy Committee hearing in Norfolk. Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Senator Mark Warner convened the hearing aboard the USS Kearsarge (the first hearing aboard a ship in more than 50 years) to learn more about energy conservation efforts in the armed forces.
A variety of military personnel testified at the hearing, including Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who argued that energy conservation is crucial to help the Navy save money.
“The only way we can afford to get the number of ships, the number of aircraft that we need is to change the way we get fuel,” Mabus said. He said the rising price of gas during the unrest in Libya led to more than $1 billion in extra fuel expenses for the Navy and Marines. In addition, Mabus and others argued that energy conservation can help save lives.
“A lot of our enemies can follow us around by the noise of our generators,” Marine Col. Bob Charette testified. “Marines start using [solar powered generators], and they believe it scares the bad guys because they can’t hear where we’re at — because there’s no generator running.”
“I don’t understand how some members of Congress just don’t seem to get it that this initiative is about saving money, it’s about saving lives,” Senator Warner said at the hearing, congratulating the Navy on their work.
Senator John Warner agreed.
“America’s military preparation, for the present and future, is predicated on innovation,” he said.