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Retired Military Brass Set Sights on America’s Oil Dependence

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It’s not surprising, but America’s retired military officers are sounding the alarm on America’s dangerous dependence on oil.  In an OpEd published on Nov. 2 in The Hill, retired four-star General Paul Kern, U.S. Army (Ret.) 
and Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, U.S. Navy (Ret.) called for the country to cuts its oil dependence 30 percent within the next decade.  They pointed out the very real national security, economic, and environmental consequences of our country’s oil dependence.  Specifically, they state:

“America’s dependence on oil constitutes a significant threat– economically, geo-politically, environmentally, and militarily. What President Bush called our oil “addiction” ties our hands in the foreign policy arena. It forces us to depend on countries that do not share our values, and increases the risk of troops being sent into harm’s way. We also send a billion dollars to other countries for oil every day—money that could be far better spent at home.”

I imagine that General Kern and Vice Admiral Gunn would have some good additions to the ideas laid out in my previous blog for how to better use that $1 billion a day we spend on foreign oil.

The UCS oil savings plan would break America’s oil dependence

As the OpEd points out, there are no silver bullets solutions to America’s oil dependence.  Instead, General Kern and Vice Admiral Gunn rightly state that we need a wide range of solutions.  Since transportation accounts for the vast majority of our oil consumption, we need to boost the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, deploy alternative fuels, such as electricity and low-carbon biofuels, and develop transportation systems that provide alternatives to driving.

UCS has a plan that would put these solutions to work and cut America’s projected oil use in half by 2030.  We have the technology to move beyond oil as our dominant transportation fuel.  Taking this step would deliver tremendous economic, national security, and environmental benefits.  All we need is a smart national energy policy to get us there.  As this OpEd makes clear, it’s not a question of whether we should take this step forward.  It’s how soon can we get started?

Posted in: Biofuel, Energy, Fossil Fuels, Vehicles

About the author: Brendan Bell advocates for national transportation policies to reduce U.S. oil dependence, clean up our air, and curb global warming.

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  • Alexander S.

    So, how much longer before you brash alternative energy experts can supply affordable alternative fuels sufficient to “run a war”? You’re going to have to pick up the pace considerably in order to displace oil any time soon (or any time ever) — you are hintng you will wean us off oil and onto something else, an unspecified and non-existent something else, right? Better get cracking, ecogeniuses!!

  • william simmons

    Too many rich and politically powerful Americans profit mightily from our “dependence” on foreign oil. As a long-term vet in the battle for Energy Independence, I’ve come to realize that nothing of consequence can be accomplished until these Corporate Elite are publicly identified and PUBLICLY taken to task.
    Refer to Ike’s comments on the MIC as he was leaving office in 1960. The Generals and Admirals, etc., should know the score if anyone does. It takes a lot of oil to run a war!

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