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Military Leaders Push For Sustainable Energy

Adm. Len Hering, former head of Navy Region Southwest, said California's utility companies are putting up barriers to generating more sustainable energy.

Hering said the military is acutely aware of the need to find alternative energy sources, since many have given their lives to defend America's supplies of oil.

He said his attempts to cover parking lots with solar panels to power the Naval base in San Diego were stymied by state regulations that protect the interests of utilities.

"We need to look at breaking down those portions of the utility companies that have literally a strangle hold on those entrepreneurial opportunities that communities are not allowed to engage in or developers are not allowed to build into tomorrow's community."

Hering spoke at a roundtable of military veterans concerned about the slow pace of progress to combat global warming and develop more sustainable sources of energy. He said diminishing resources will be an inevitable source of military conflicts in the future.

The roundtable, held at the Center for Sustainable Energy, was sponsored by Operation Free, a privately funded coalition of veterans and national security organizations.

Ambassador Reno Harnish, director of the Center for Environmental and National Security at UCSD, said the military has incorporated sustainable energy into the Quadrennial Defense Review issued last year. He said although many of the ideas are yet to be adopted on the ground, they are already an integral part of all the military's planning for the future.

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