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Air Force scuttles energy-efficiency upgrades due to sequester

Mar. 21, 2013 - 01:39PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
The Air Force avoided about $1.5 billion in increased fuel costs by reducing its energy use, Jamie Morin said. It also is suspending energy-efficiency upgrades as it deals with sequestration. Above are Air Force F-16s.
The Air Force avoided about $1.5 billion in increased fuel costs by reducing its energy use, Jamie Morin said. It also is suspending energy-efficiency upgrades as it deals with sequestration. Above are Air Force F-16s. (Capt. Natassia Cherne / Air Force)

The Air Force has cut its budget for energy-efficiency upgrades by 90 percent because of the sequester.

Jamie Morin, acting undersecretary of the Air Force, said in a conference call with reporters Thursday that the automatic sequester budget cuts that took effect March 1 have cut deeply into the Air Force’s ability to do things such as replace old windows and weatherproof facilities.

“We are literally only dealing with the emergency requirements in that area,” Morin said.

The energy-efficiency cuts were necessary to help boost spending in more critical areas and deal with what he called “mindless” sequester cuts.

The Air Force avoided about $1.5 billion in increased fuel costs by reducing its energy use, Morin said. It has reduced its use of aviation fuel by 12 percent over 2006 levels and cut its facility energy usage by 21 percent compared with 2003 levels.

“This is real money that we did not have to expend on fuel,” Morin said.

He also said the Air Force is looking increasingly to partner with the private sector to arrange alternative financing for facility upgrades and renewable energy investments in exchange for the use of Air Force land.

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