How GHG Hysteria Hurts Nation’s Defense

An earlier article introduced the president’s Executive Order 13514, and the resulting Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP) issued by the Department of Defense.

This fixation on Green House Gasses (GHG) is resulting in actions that detract from our nation’s defense.

Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, directed that half of the energy used by [Navy] installations will come from alternative sources by 2020. This will increase costs and divert funds from the Navy’s ability to defend our country.

Secretary Mabus also plans to field a carrier strike group powered only by biofuels and nuclear energy. Nuclear power is good, but biofuels?

This is delusional. Biofuels cannot be produced in sufficient quantities to supply the Navy’s ships, so why waste time and money on this stunt? Even if biofuels could be produced in quantity, it would add complexity to distributing fuel to Navy ships around the world.

DOD has a goal to have 18.3% of energy consumed by facilities, produced or procured from renewable sources by FY 2020.

Once again this costs more and diverts funds from military equipment.

According to the SSPP, DOD “completed the infrastructure for 16 alternative fueling stations to dispense E85 and B20 (a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel). It also installed a solar photovoltaic charging station.”

Again, money that could be used for equipment for our troops

From SSPP, “The Department is committed to conducting a comprehensive GHG inventory, starting with FY 2010.”

This is not a trivial undertaking, and will consume the efforts of people who should be planning on how to defend our country.

According to the SSPP, DOD is spending $100 million on an 18-month project to develop more affordable, less resource-intensive algae-based synthetic fuels.

According to a Financial Times, November 4, 2009 article on biofuels, the federal government poured money into algae-to-fuels research from 1978 until 1996 without any real success, so prospects of algae playing a major role are dim. In 2009, fuel from algae was estimated to cost $30 per gallon, a prohibitive price, yet the Secretary of the Navy persists in his bio-fueled strike group.

The SSPP focused on sustainability. While being able to sustain successful military operations is critical to our defense, many of the sustainability items included in the SSPP were for reducing GHG.

The Department of Defense should be focusing on how to win our wars, and should not be burdened with having to cut GHG emissions, which diverts resources, money and manpower, from its mission.

The SSPP can be obtained here: http://www.acq.osd.mil/ie/download/green_energy/dod_sustainability/DoD%20SSPP-PUBLIC-26Aug10.pdf

Executive Order 13514 can be downloaded here: http://www.hss.energy.gov/nuclearsafety/env/rules/74/74fr52117.pdf

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