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Juliette Kayyem

The Pentagon is stopped from going green

When a bunch of Birkenstock-wearing environmentalists clamor for cleaner energy alternatives — biofuels, solar, or wind — it’s not entirely a surprise when Senate Republicans scoff in response. But it is odd that when military leaders make the same recommendation, those same legislators don’t even budge. Much worse, they have now prohibited Big Green from going green.

When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testifies before Congress next week, he will be waging an uphill battle to preserve the Pentagon’s energy-efficient programs. Despite the fact that the Pentagon is the single biggest consumer of fossil fuels in the entire world, the Senate Armed Services Committee recently voted to prohibit the military from spending money “for the production or sole purchase of an alternative fuel.”

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