U.S. military aims to trim energy use

After years of pooh-poohing fuel efficiency, the U.S. military has been ordered by the Department of Defense to cut energy use at all military bases and facilities by 2 percent per year — to which they replied, “Yes, sir! Right away, sir!” The Pentagon’s demand comes on the heels of a $2.7 billion increase in fuel expenditures from fiscal year 2004 to 2005. The Air Force, which guzzles more fuel than the rest of the military combined — in part due to the fact that its famed B-52 bombers still feature engines designed five decades ago — reports that 11 percent of electricity at its bases now comes from alternative sources. The Army and Marines hope to develop a hybrid Humvee (oh, the irony), and Navy skippers get cash bonuses for fuel conservation. It almost makes renewable energy and energy efficiency sound, well, patriotic. Nah, that can’t be right.