Increasing Our National Security with New Technology
by Retired Lt. Gen. John Castellaw, USMC, American Security Project (The Hill/Congress Blog) The United States military is the single largest purchaser of petroleum fuel in the world, burning through about 325,000 barrels of fuel per day. Almost all of that fuel is derived from oil. This is important not because of the vast carbon footprint (or boot print) that the military has – a separate, and important problem. It is actually the dependence on oil that presents the military with a long-term strategic risk.
Although today the military is able to buy fuel for operations anywhere around the world, access to oil is not guaranteed in the future. … Related to that risk, the military, like all consumers in the U.S., relies on oil from countries that do not align with our interests. … It also means that, in a shooting war, when our fighting men and women need access to fuel to effectively fight, we may not be able to guarantee access to the fuel we need.
…Today, there is a new technology on the horizon that is rapidly developing as a real alternative to petroleum-based fuel. New, next-generation biofuels can provide a drop-in replacement for the fuels our military needs for combat and training operations.
…The Department of the Navy has proposed to address this risk by using the Defense Production Act, in conjunction with the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture, to directly invest in commercial development of a domestic biofuels industry.
…Last year, a congressionally mandated study concluded that biofuels would be competitive early in the next decade – a timetable that it said could be moved forward if the government partnered with industry to speed up commercialization. READ MORE