Dave Belote 11/13/13
Ensuring our military prioritizes how it spends its money is an admirable goal. However, an article that appeared in the Washington Times last week written by Cheryl Chumley’s (Pentagon pushes 680 green projects, despite money woes, 11/6) misses several key points that explain why the Department of Defense views renewable energy and energy efficiency as warfighting priorities. Besides the fact that our military is vulnerable to the price volatility of overseas energy sources, the number of American lives lost protecting fuel convoys in Iraq and Afghanistan numbers is well above 3,000. This is a cost that obviously cannot be calculated.
It’s no secret that in order to achieve energy independence, America needs a diverse, reliable, and balanced energy portfolio. Algal biofuels in particular could prove to be an important part of that portfolio. Algae have been extensively pursued for many years as a source for renewable fuel due to their high oil content, efficient growth rates, and potential to be cultivated on non-arable land with non-potable water all while recycling CO2 and promoting a cleaner environment. More recent advancements in research and development in the algae industry have foreshadowed that turning algae into sustainable fuel at commercial scale could become reality in the near future. It’s no wonder Congress has taken an avid interest in these developments.