Rand: Pentagon Alt-Fuel Push Offers No Savings, Security Benefits
By Graham Warwick
Source: Aerospace Daily & Defense Report
Although proponents argue that biofuels will provide price competition, Rand argues energy efficiency and conservation “are the only options that offer appreciable savings in [Defense Department and Air Force] expenditures for liquid fuels.”
Neither the Air Force nor the Pentagon has enough buying power to influence the world oil market. “Their fuel purchases are simply too small,” Rand says. But the armed forces can play a role in the market by assuring access to energy supplies for the U.S. and its allies, according to the report.
“A potential role for the Air Force is in assisting the U.S. Navy in sea-lane protection,” Rand says. “Three quarters of the petroleum passing through the Strait of Hormuz is heading to Asia,” where expanding economies increasingly depend on imported energy.
“A joint approach, in which the Air Force provides meaningful assistance to the Navy, offers a more efficient and effective application of U.S. defense assets” than buying alternative fuels, the report concludes.