Richard is a Justmeans staff writer for the Energy and Emissions category. He is a recent graduate of Western Carolina University in North Carolina where he studied History and Professional Writing. With an interest in the development and application of the latest computer, energy, and fuel technologies, he believes that the world must strive, with the help of these services, to better our societi...
The U.S. Military Steps Up Their Need for Biofuels
Always pushing forward on the front lines of technological development, the various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces never shy away from any kind of solution they can create for their own unique problems. The immense need for fossil fuels that is created by operating one of the largest vehicle fleets in the world just happens to be one of those unique problems the military faces on a day to day basis. With men and women fighting currently in combat zones where fuel is a must have, the Armed Forces has decided to step up their game when it comes to biofuels and renewable energy.
One of the needs to develop new methods of generating renewable energy and biofuels lies in the Armed Forces' desire to further deny their enemy a means of disrupting their fuel lines. A time honored tactic that goes back thousands of years, the disrupting of the fuel and supply lines are critical for any force that is trying to prevent an opposing army in any warzone from keeping soldiers, vehicles, and bases running in those tense situations. The latest announcement by the Armed Forces regarding their desire to switch to a biofuel based system came after a recent insurgent attack in Rawalpindi, Pakistan where nearly a dozen fuel tankers carrying fuel for NATO forces stationed in the area were destroyed. While it was a devastating blow to the crucial supply lines in the area, it is only one of many similar incidents that have happened in the area and continue to plague other forces station in Afghanistan and Iraq.
While the issue with insurgents disrupting supply lines in combat zones continues to rage, there are other reasons why the Armed Forces are eyeing biofuels. The Navy has recently released several statements where they have reinforced their previous stance that the adoption of biofuels is critical to the continued operation of America's military forces. Citing rising fuels costs and the growing need for fuel (The Navy has reported figures close to $5 billion for the approximate cost of fuel in 2008 alone), the Navy sees biofuel as a necessary step forward. A retired Vice Admirial, one Dennis McGinn, even went so far as to say that the U.S. Navy needed the biofuel industry for national security. "The United States armed forces need this industry to succeed ... we need to recognize that the potential that algal biofuels have for the future is fantastic." McGinn said in one news release.
With the Armed Forces all reaching for specific goals regarding renewable energy and biofuels, the U.S. Navy and Marines specifically are looking towards 50% by 2020, it seems to be only a matter of time before the United States is leading by example. From there, the possibility always exists for the technology and willingness to adopt biofuels to trickle down into civilian areas of interest.
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