Regional Approach to New, Clean Energy Can Improve Our Economy, Security
by LtGen John G. Castellaw, USMC (Ret.) (25 x ’25) …In spite of claims to the contrary, increased domestic drilling and building pipelines to carry Canadian crude south will not result in energy independence or low fuel prices in either the short or long term. With the reversal of the pipeline flow from the Oklahoma storage facilities to the refineries of the Gulf Coast, North American crude will be even more closely tied to world oil prices and available for shipment overseas.
…The Defense Department burns 325,000 barrels of fuel a day at a cost of over $15 billion a year. Energy availability and the strategic need to secure fuel sources in unstable regions are driving current military strategy and force sizing.
In response, the military is actively pursuing other energy-dense biofuel liquids to replace petroleum-based sources. All the services are qualifying aircraft and ground vehicle engines with a 50/50 biofuel “drop-in” mix. A recent agreement between the departments of Agriculture, Defense and Energy provides for initial production of advanced biofuels. In response, private companies such as Virent, partly owned by Shell, are providing drop-in fuel for certification processes. Concurrently, the Federal Aviation Administration is leading a Commercial Aviation Fuels Initiative effort to certify biofuels in commercial aircraft.
Together these organizations are providing the development base for defense, commercial and private applications of biofuel research. With the military jump-starting the effort, the future of biofuels is solidifying. At a recent conference, the Department of Defense representative, U.S. Navy Cmdr. James Goudreau, estimated that based on growing commercial production facilities and Defense Department usage, competitively priced biofuel would be available in the 2018 time frame.
Biofuels has a presence in all regions of the country, and the leaders of these regions need to be aware that these developments are just around the corner and be prepared to benefit from them. READ MORE and MORE (The Commercial Appeal)