Wednesday, February 28, 2007

USAF Energy Forum

On February 27, 2007 Public Affairs Office of the Secretary of the Air Force announced that the Air Force will host an Air Force Energy Industry Forum, which will look at the full spectrum of the Air Force's energy program, from the demand side to supply side, as well as for infrastructure, vehicles and aircraft. The Energy Industry Forum will take place in Virginia on March 8-9, 2007 and is cosponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

When I was analyzing the program closely I admit that I was very excited to see a well balanced list of subjects which tackle the major energy challenges and issues facing the US military. Unfortunately my excitement didn’t last long.

Daniel Yergin, a don’t worry be happy type anti-Peak Oil person; George Muellner of the Boeing Company; Robbie Diamond, President of Securing America’s Future Energy etc are all in Plenary Sessions. They will all tell that there is nothing really to worry about the military energy future. The problem is those damned unreliable and rouge states who are unfriendly to the US and are an enemy of American way of life. That is why we have to reduce dependency on oil coming from them. This could only be done by focusing on alternative fuels. Let’s get domestic industry working. Let’s subsidize the industry that will produce $20 per gallon synthetic fuel needed to fill up the B-52s. Let’s invest on Fuel Cells, Coal to Liquids, Hydrogen, Solar etc. This is the only way to secure our energy independence. Technology combined with the US dollar will save us. ETC.

Only a few people in the Forum will probably raise the issue that today’s and foreseeable future’s war machines will run on conventional oil. When the Peak Oil hits, it will have wide ranging implications for the military. Who will most probably mention Peak Oil? Yes, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. Nice to have him there. This is the good news. The bad news is that Mr. Bartlett will talk on Breakfast Session which will take place between 7:00 and 8:30 am. How many audience will he have ?

I congratulate the Air Force for organizing that Forum. But the Program should have had given place to contra views as well. Will anybody mention that alternative fuels are neither suitable nor an option for today’s and tomorrow’s tactical war machines at least for another 20 years? Will anybody mention that if alternatives are a real option why the USAF is going to replace its 530 aerial refueling tankers? With what they will fill those KC-X tankers? With Synthetic fuel?

Tags: Military Energy Consumption, US Air Force, Oil Consumption



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