RAND says US military cannot reduce biofuels price; should exit development; BIO disagrees

June 20, 2012 |

In Washington, a new study by the RAND Corporation says that the US military’s petroleum demand of 340,000 barrels per day, compared to global demand of 87 million barrels per day, isn’t large enough of a scale to impact the production cost of biofuels so should therefore stop spending money on more expensive alternative fuels.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) Industrial & Environmental Section, commented, “RAND’s new report does nothing to further U.S. energy security. The U.S. military’s reliance on a single source of fuel exposes the Pentagon to volatile prices that have very real national security impacts. Already, over the past two years, we’ve seen the Defense Department forced to shift its budget to pay higher fuel costs, taking money away from training troops and requisitioning equipment. This reduces our military readiness. Further, as the military seeks to protect U.S. troops with more heavily armored equipment, it will require more fuel – not less. The military has priority for U.S. fuel supplies through the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But that has not protected the DoD’ budget from volatile oil prices, which are set by OPEC.

“The United States needs to pursue energy independence by diversifying supplies and speeding the commercialization of alternative fuels. This is a national security imperative, and we should not tolerate distractions from achieving it.”

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Category: Research

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