October 25, 2014

Military leads on clean energy

A Wisconsin veteran is advocating for energy independence. Robin Eckstein has been involved in Operation Free – highlighting the progress the military has made on energy efficiency and renewables – for several years. “We’re attempting to educate the rest of the 995 who haven’t served, and letting them know that it’s really not a partisan issue.”

Eckstein and retired Marine Colonel Mark Mykelby were in Wisconsin recently to talk with politicians and others about their efforts. “For those of us in the military, we don’t ever do anything for a political reason,” said Mykelby. “Just from a nose-picking Marine’s perspective, it males a hell of a lot of sense, particularly considering that it can cost thousands of dollars for a gallon of gas in a tactical environment. Just having to get the stuff to the theater, it’s immensely cumbersome. It’s a crazy equation: you spend a lot more gas to get the gas, just so you can operate.” 

Eckstein says increasing our use of renewable energy and lessening dependence on unstable foreign energy sources isn’t an insurmountable challenge – as the military is proving, and such efforts are a win for jobs in Wisconsin – and for national security. “When you think national security issues, you think maybe you can’t do anything about them. But you can,” she said. “Recognizing that moving to clean renewable energy here in Wisconsin is just plain good for us. We get most of our energy from outside Wisconsin, so it’s just going to shore up jobs here.”

“We’re at a period where America, with 23 percent of the global economy is in a great position to once again lead, to take on a global challenge,” said Mykelby. “In World War II it was fascism, in the Cold War it was communism, now its global unsubstantiality. We just don’t have the coherent policy to make it happen.”