Written into Burke's job description is the requirement that she review the DOD budget and report to Congress if it gives energy considerations short shrift. Since her overarching energy plan has not been written yet, Burke and her current staff of three are combing the fiscal 2012 budget to make sure it provides enough funds for each service's individual energy goals.
While Burke is aware that her job is to lead from the top in energy savings, she said pulling DOD toward better fuel management and energy innovation is not just a matter of laying out targets.
"If you say we are going to cut operational energy use by X percent, well, it's a war. It's not a fixed installation that stays in one place and has certain duty cycles. It's just you either are going to be putting constraints on our soldiers and Marines in the field that would make it difficult to do their jobs, or you would be asking them to ignore you," she said.
Still, that does not mean there should be no evaluative measures, she cautioned. Moreover, Congress required that she come up with some. "We do need to have metrics that measure success, absolutely, but I just don't want to throw spaghetti metrics up on the wall and hope they stick," she said.
In her December plan, she said, she will be laying out requirements to track where energy gets used in the field. Armed with those numbers from the different services, she said, the Pentagon can be better poised to tackle the problem.
"Right now, I know the Army is getting ready to field some monitoring operationally," she said, but she declined to discuss the details of that initiative saying they are "pre-decisional."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500