Senate Armed Services Committee’s approved its FY2012
National Defense Authorization Act (S.
1253), which we’ve been anxiously awaiting. First, I’ll start
with an omission.
version of the 2012 NDAA included a requirement for a “Report on the Manufacturing
Policy of the United States,” which included “An analysis of the ability of the United States to access necessary raw
materials for the defense industry, including rare earth minerals.” From what I
found over the past few years researching globalization and supply chains and
whatnot for our recent minerals report,
this is definitely warranted. (I recommended updating the last major Defense
Science Board report that covered such matters.)
SASC version does include several measures on energy, most of which fall into
its operations & maintenance language. One major section is 311, which
modifies renewable energy goals:
(A) to produce
or procure not less than 12 percent of the total quantity of facility energy it
consumes within its facilities during each of fiscal years 2015 through 2017
from renewable energy sources;
(B) to produce
or procure not less than 16 percent of the total quantity of facility energy it
consumes within its facilities during each of fiscal years 2018 through 2020
from renewable energy sources;
(C) to produce
or procure not less than 20 percent of the total quantity of facility energy it
consumes within its facilities during each of fiscal year 2021 through 2024 from
renewable energy sources.
love these specifics. In my report last September with President Nagl
recommending a DOD energy strategy, one of the flaws we identified was that DOD’s
energy goals tended to run out between 2012 and 2020, with most extending only
to about 2015. For the sake of sending strong demand signals to capital markets
and innovators so that they invest in developing what DOD needs, we thought simply extending the requirements in time would
big thumbs up to the SASC members and their staffs should be awarded for
thinking about what’s needed for actually meeting these goals. In section 331,
for a “Study on Air Force Test and Training Range Infrastructure,” it requires
identify which parcels
identified pursuant to subparagraph (F) could, through the acquisition of
conservation easements, serve military interests while also preserving
recreational access to public and private lands, protecting wildlife habitat,
or preserving opportunities for energy development and energy transmission.
big snag for DOD improving power generation on its own land has been a lack of
process to hammer out where major projects would or would not interfere with
normal military operations. DOD appointed a top-notch official to handle the
problem, but it’s still good to see the Senate recognize the role specific
mechanisms like this may play in meeting broader energy security goals.
I’ll note 2 final measures
focused on electricity supply security. Section 345 requires the SecDef to “develop guidance for commanders of
military installations inside the United States on planning measures to minimize
the effects in the event of a disruption of services by a utility that sells
natural gas, water, or electric energy to a military installation in the United
States.” And finally, section 2831, on investments for modernizing Navy
shipyards, includes a requirement for assessing “the adequacy of each facility…to meet the energy
savings goals of the Secretary of the Navy for military installations.” Given
how ambitious the Secretary’s energy goals have been, it’s great to see this in
language from the Hill.
bill requires additional measures on reporting and structural issues, and there
are some major differences on energy between the Senate and House versions. And
there are important measures in the bill introduced by Rep. Giffords and Sen.
Udall a few months back that I hope to see in future votes. We’ll continue to
keep an eye on all this for you.