Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
- Why a Carbon Tax Does Not Work - February 24, 2018
- Time for the Clean Power Plan to Go, Endangerment Finding Should Be Next - February 23, 2018
- President Trump on Energy and the Environment, an Assessment of His First Year - February 22, 2018
On several occasions at different venues and events, President Obama has declared“there is no greater threat to U.S. security than climate change.” With China’s moves in the South China sea, Russia’s moves in Eastern Europe, and terrorists strikes killing Americans and others around the world, the President’s belief is idiotic. Climate change, if it poses a threat at all, is distant and the impacts can be adapted too without loss of life.
Still President Obama has forced the military to undertake expensive programs to fight climate change by going “green.” These efforts are drowning taxpayers in debt while is diverting scarce resources from the nation’s defense to the creation of expensive, and, as it turns out, greenhouse-gas-emitting green fuels.
For instance, driven by President Barack Obama’s directives, the Navy has undertaken the “Great Green Fleet” (GGF) initiative to reduce petroleum consumption by 50 percent in 2020 by switching to alternative energy sources, including advanced biofuels. Substituting advanced biofuels for petroleum marine fuels has proven very expensive and produced little if any environmental benefit.
At the outset of the GGF initiative, the Navy paid up to $400 per gallon for advanced biofuels at a time when the price of petroleum-based marine fuel was $2.82 per gallon. The initial algae-based advanced biofuels had large negative “net energy values,” meaning they consumed far more energy (in the form of fossil fuels) during their production-through-consumption lifecycle than the petroleum fuels they displaced, so net carbon dioxide emissions were many times greater than if the Navy had just used traditional fossil fuels.
Due to a combination of generous federal subsidies and hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding, the cost of marine biofuels has dropped to approximately 50 percent greater than the cost of petroleum-based marine diesel. Factoring in the carbon content of the biofuels’ feedstock and the final fuel itself, the energy used in refining and delivering the fuel outside of the normal supply chain means the environmental benefits of the fuel remain questionable.