• New Climate Policies Needn’t Disrupt DOD’s Reliance on Renewables, Conger Says

    New Climate Policies Needn’t Disrupt DOD’s Reliance on Renewables, Conger Says0

    President Trump’s steps so far to back away from existing policies intended to address climate change have not upended the military services’ push to increasingly rely on renewable energy sources to power their installations. But the department’s former installations and energy chief says even if the new administration revisits DOD’s policies on sustainability, it should be careful not to limit efforts that can be justified for reasons beyond their environmental benefits. There is a clear business case for the military to develop new generation capacity on base using solar, wind or other renewable resources as they are generally financed by developers or utilities and can cut an installation’s electricity bill, John Conger, who led the Pentagon’s installations office from 2012 to 2015, told Defense Communities 360 …

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  • Rising Seas Will Overtake Land at Coastal Installations, Study Concludes

    Rising Seas Will Overtake Land at Coastal Installations, Study Concludes0

    Military installations on the East and Gulf coasts are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with rising sea levels expected to threaten increasing amounts of coastal land over the coming decades, according to an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists released Wednesday. Coastal installations will experience more extensive tidal flooding and when hurricanes strike, deeper and more extensive storm surge flooding, the study concluded. “We’re now at the front end of the changes that will occur, with some installations already dealing with flooding during extreme high tides,” said Erika Spanger-Siegfried, lead author of the report …

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  • Climate Change Poses Threat to Army’s Readiness Goals

    Climate Change Poses Threat to Army’s Readiness Goals0

    Following several years of stringent budget caps that reduced funding for training, the Army has identified readiness as its No. 1 priority. But now the service’s efforts to build readiness “across the full spectrum of operations” through large-scale training at its combat training centers could be limited by another constraint — climate change. The effects of climate change, including the increased frequency of extreme weather events — such as flooding, wildfires and droughts — and longer periods of hot temperature, already are interfering with the Army’s ability to train for its combat mission, Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary for energy and sustainability, said during a panel discussion held last month at the Pentagon to celebrate Earth Day. “Without access to ranges and land, the Army’s readiness suffers …

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  • Climate Change to Play Role in Most DOD Activities

    Climate Change to Play Role in Most DOD Activities0

    Defense officials will be required to consider the effects of climate change when undertaking a host of activities, including construction projects, readiness plans, acquisition programs and mission planning, under a new Pentagon policy. “The DOD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military,” the Jan. 14 directive states. Mission planning should anticipate and manage any risks that develop as a result of climate change to build resilience, it adds …

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  • Army Already Grappling with Climate Change, Hammack Says0

    While a global discussion about the causes of climate change and how nations should respond is ongoing, the Army already is dealing with its effects at a number of installations, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for installations, energy and environment, wrote in a commentary posted on the Army website. The Army’s premier training grounds at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, have experienced substantial climate-related challenges in recent years. The installation has been forced to restrict live-fire training due to the risk of forest fires associated with longer periods of warmer temperatures. Thawing permafrost threatens the post’s infrastructure. “Loss or restriction on the use of training lands attributed to climate factors incurs real costs in terms of time, money, and resources,” Hammack said. “Without predictable access to training areas and ranges, individual skills and unit readiness will suffer …

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  • Communities Endorse JLUS Recommendations for California Navy Base

    Communities Endorse JLUS Recommendations for California Navy Base0

    Neighboring communities of Naval Base Ventura County in Southern California have voted to support the recommendations of the installation’s joint land use study (JLUS), which covers actions such as anti-terrorism security measures, a climate change study and municipal ordinances protecting open space. The $225,000 study for the base — formed by the merger of Naval Air Station Point Mugu, Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme and San Nicolas Island — calls for improving security at the perimeter of Port Hueneme and preparing a climate change assessment focusing on sea level rise, reported the Ventura County Star. In putting the final report together, the policy committee for the study tweaked a proposal in the draft recommending that “Ventura County and the cities should support SOAR [Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources] ordinances for renewal” to help protect the base from further encroachment …

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