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U.S. DoD “Navigating Change” toward more energy-efficient operations

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will deliver the keynote address at the annual Association of Defense Communities conference, “Navigating Change,” taking place in California this week. The discussion will center on ongoing challenges of defense energy policy in light of recent budget cuts and growing energy demand in the defense industry.

To be sure, the U.S. military uses more energy than two-thirds of all countries in the world and accounts for 80 percent of the U.S. government’s energy use. That means the time is right for increased efficiency in the defense community and for investing in new or improved technologies made possible by chemistry that help reduce energy use, increase fuel efficiency and make buildings and facilities more energy efficient.

Chemistry, for example, goes into numerous products and technologies that allow military vehicles and aircraft to travel farther before refueling.

Through energy recovery, our military is converting solid waste, including non-recycled plastics and other valuable sources of energy, to help power the future of our defense systems. Energy recovery could also help power civilian homes and cars.

As ACC President and CEO Cal Dooley said in a policy forum last month, government has a role to play in helping to further unlock the vast energy potential of non-recycled plastics and other materials currently being sent to landfills.

Finally, chemistry contributes to high-performance insulation and HVAC systems, lighting, roofing and energy control and management systems, all of which are included in DOD’s push toward greater efficiency.

To learn more about why energy efficiency matters to a more secure energy future, visit


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