The nation's biggest gas guzzler, the Defense Department, is trying to kick its oil habit and use alternative energies—not to support the green movement or save money, but to save lives, the Washington Post reports. Half of US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are from IEDs deployed on fuel-carrying convoys. "We've already taken 12 trucks off a day," said one officer. "I'm confident it has saved lives."
The military is devoting $300 million of its $7.4 billion chunk of the economic stimulus package to the cause. From low-tech solutions like foam-insulated tents to high-tech solar-power mats, hybrid vehicles, and garbage-to-gas biofuel units, America's war zones are turning into leading energy laboratories. "This is a new way of thinking," said an Army official, "to take advantage of the assets we have."