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US military to curb appetite for power

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Shanta Barley | 17:00 UK time, Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The United States' Defence Department, 'the nation's single largest consumer of energy', has announced plans to curb its appetite for power.

apache226x226.jpgThe US military's fighter jets, warships, and other war toys account for a whopping 0.3% of the world's daily oil consumption, and the average trooper today uses 16 times more fuel than the one-gallon-a-day GI Joe of World War Two.

So what exactly is the carbon footprint of a 'lethal personal suppression projectile'? That information is classified (d'uh). But the Pentagon is happy to chat about its more mundane plans to trim energy bills.

For example, it plans to cut the energy it uses powering the air conditioners in the tents of its Iraq-based troops by 45%, simply by spraying the tents with insulatory foam. (Scoff not - a huge amount of fuel the US military consumes in Iraq is used to keep soldiers chilled.)

What does it all mean? According to the Pentagon, the real reason behind the US military's move away from oil is energy security. With 66% of the world's dwindling oil reserves in the 'unsecure' Middle East, the United States may simply have no choice but to green up its act.

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