New American Oil Boom: Will It Slow DoD's Renewable Energy Momentum?

By Farrell, Lawrence P. | National Defense, June 2012 | Go to article overview

New American Oil Boom: Will It Slow DoD's Renewable Energy Momentum?


Farrell, Lawrence P., National Defense


* The Defense Department has been focused over two administrations on energy efficiency at the national and defense levels.

Both in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, field commanders have recognized the need for much better energy efficiency on the battlefield. Marine Corps Gen. James N. Mattis famously said the military should be released from the "tether of fuel." Another Marine Corps leader, Lt. Gen. Richard C Zilmer, requested renewable energy for his field operations.

Both experienced first hand the difficulty of transporting liquid fuels. The logistics of fuel was expensive in terms of operational efficiency, dollars and lives.

By the way, this is not a new challenge for the military. On average more than 70 percent of the tonnage that forces bring to the battlefield is a liquid: fuel and water. Most of the fuel is needed to power forward-operating bases, and for aviation. Combat vehicles consume only about 10 percent of the liquid fuel on the battlefield. This recognition has led to numerous studies on energy and fuel and several initiatives in the Defense Department for energy efficiency with a particular focus on petroleum.

Lately, however, the increased production of natural gas and petroleum in the United States has rekindled the advocacy of energy independence in favor of more domestic oil and gas drilling. If only we will start to drill more and harvest more, the argument goes, this will free us of our dependence on foreign sources and bring energy prices down.

A series of recent analyses by retired military officers takes a different tack, and sheds some light on the issues and suggests a way ahead. The first set is a series of studies conducted by a military advisory board of retired generals and admirals under the auspices of the Center for Naval Analyses. The most recent study focused on petroleum. It concluded that our reliance on fossil fuels constitutes a significant national security threat to the United States and that we should pursue a more diverse mix of transportation fuels, rather than continuing our overreliance on oil as a singular fuel source Its role as a singular source constitutes a unique vulnerability as we have few other alternatives. It affects the nation's balance of payments, as $1 billion per day is spent on petroleum. It forces the United States to do business with countries that don't share our values, and in some cases wish to do us harm. As former CIA Director and energy expert Jim Wolsey says, "We are funding both sides of the war on terror."

Another problem with oil is that the market is unstable, as prices are subject to change as a result of unpredictable events. It forces reliance on unreliable suppliers, it is difficult to transport into combat zones, it exposes U.S. and allied troops to unnecessary dangers in the logistics of delivery. But it currently has no substitutes.

A recent investigation, also authored by a group of retired military officers and industry leaders, reinforces some of the same points and adds new analysis. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New American Oil Boom: Will It Slow DoD's Renewable Energy Momentum?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.