American Elephants

Military Readiness Declines in an Increasingly Troubled World. by The Elephant's Child


Climate Change comes in dead last on a list of the public’s concerns with zero interest. The newly released National Climate Assessment has the lapdog media, who have assuredly not read it (the executive summary alone is 148 pages), out in full cry to tell you how worried you must be about storms and floods that are not caused by climate, which is a statistic about temperature.

There’s a remarkable amount of taxpayer money filling the pockets of administration cronies, corn growers, private industry stakeholders, and Al Gore and Tom Steyer. Grants and subsidies and tax credits abound.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the Department of Defense (DOD) paid “about $150 per gallon for 1,500 gallons of alternative jet fuel derived from algal oil.”

“The price for conventional jet fuel is currently $2.88 per gallon. GAO’s report reveals that federal agencies have paid significantly higher prices in an effort to promote biofuels in commercial and military aviation,” Lachlan Markay reported today in the Washington Free Beacon.

The companies that produce these alternative fuels are small, and federal agencies are buying extremely expensive fuels as a means of subsidizing these firms. Even if they grow to a commercial scale, subsidies would still be needed to be price competitive. Subsidies can invite a lot of investors to attempt something that may well be useless if rewarded by government largess, especially if it is extra-large.

Federal requirements for renewables are driving big increases in the cost of electric power which is up 10.8 percent nationally, and add in the Obama administration’s push to bankrupt coal-fired power plants. This at a time when we are becoming the fossil fuel capital of the world.

Our military readiness is being cut to the bare bone, yet we can play around with paying $150 per gallon for an experimental fuel for which there is no recognized need. The military needs to rethink its priorities.



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“The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reported that the Department of Defense (DOD) paid “about $150 per gallon for 1,500 gallons of alternative jet fuel derived from algal oil.””

And the costs don’t end there.

The jet engines require a modification to run on the biofuel in question.

The alternative jet fuel burns at a faster rate than conventional fuel, requiring more frequent refueling.

The alternative fuel must be stored separately, requiring construction of addition storage tanks (on a carrier, where space is at a premium to begin with, this causes additional problems).

The alternative fuel has a tendency to degrade much quicker.

The jet engines require more frequent service and rebuilds using the alternative.

Pilots who have tested the alternative have reported decreased performance from their aircraft.

But hey, no idea is ever bad enough to stop cronyism and government waste!


Comment by Lon Mead

Why am I not surprised? I find the cuts in military readiness very troubling. It’s one thing to want to avoid any foreign entanglements because it’s against your ideology, and to be called weak, but quite another to be unable to do anything about an event requiring a response. We weren’t ready for WWII, in spite of long warnings. We had a “peace dividend” and were unready for Korea, unready for Iraq, but you’re a Marine and you know all that all too well. I’ve read too many military books. Panetta had an article in the WSJ, he is clearly concerned with the current decline in readiness.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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