Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Alternative Energy and the U.S. Military

The post below got me thinking just how serious the fuel situation for the military was during the 1973 Arab oil embargo.

NBC led a piece on their Nov. 15, 1973 broadcast by saying " Arab oil cutoff deprives United States military of 1/2 of oil supplies. Defense Department gives military priority on oil supplies over civilian users." If you didn't click on that link, you should. Vanderbilt University's searchable nightly news database is a great resource.

The Department of Defense invoked the Defense Production Act to lay claim to any fuel they might need. The Emergency Petroleum Act of 1973 (PL 93-159, scroll down) was enacted Nov. 27, 1973. It fit the current definition of Draconian (Dracos has gotten a bum rap).

The military has had some smart people thinking about their own fuel needs and the nation's strategic energy interests for a very long time. There are smart people working on behalf of the American taxpayer. I mean very smart.
I will never forget seeing Rear Admiral Grace Hopper on 60Minutes with her 11.8" piece of wire (that's the distance light travels in a nanosecond).

Major General Zilmer referred to in the post below on the Marine Corps use of renewable energy was described by Noah Schachtman: "He's emerging as an extremely interesting figure..."

No shiite. "The Marine Corps needs a capability to transport small mission-tailored units thru space from any point on the globe to a contingency at any other point on the globe within minutes...This includes a need for flexibility, such as the ability to loiter in Low Earth Orbit to optimise the time of insertion..." source. See also "
Marines Want Spaceplane"
Noah's site is here.