Military warning on oil shortages

SUBHEAD: Oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015. Shortfall could reach 10m barrels a day.

By Terry Macalister on 11 April 2010 in the Guardian - (

Image above: A US Air Force gas guzzling B52 Bomber refuels over Pacific Ocean. From (

 [IB Publisher's note: Hawaii will need its water and land to supply its own people with food and water in the future. Reducing fossil fuel consumption will have to be the way the military as well as the rest of us meet the future. We don't want Hawaii to be the GMO, algae smothered lab for the US DOD.]  
The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.
The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel.

"By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day," says the report, which has a foreword by a senior commander, General James N Mattis.
It adds:
"While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth in both the developing and developed worlds. Such an economic slowdown would exacerbate other unresolved tensions, push fragile and failing states further down the path toward collapse, and perhaps have serious economic impact on both China and India."

The US military says its views cannot be taken as US government policy but admits they are meant to provide the Joint Forces with "an intellectual foundation upon which we will construct the concept to guide out future force developments."

The warning is the latest in a series from around the world that has turned Peak Oil – the moment when demand exceeds supply – from a distant threat to a more immediate risk.

The Wicks Review on UK energy policy published last summer effectively dismissed fears but Lord Hunt, the British energy minister, met concerned industrialists two weeks ago in a sign that it is rapidly changing its mind on the seriousness of the issue.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency remains confident that there is no short-term risk of oil shortages but privately some senior officials have admitted there is considerable disagreement internally about this upbeat stance.

Future fuel supplies are of acute importance to the US army because it is believed to be the biggest single user of petrol in the world. BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, said recently that there was little chance of crude from the carbon-heavy Canadian tar sands being banned in America because the US military like to have local supplies rather than rely on the politically unstable Middle East.

But there are signs that the US Department of Energy might also be changing its stance on Peak Oil. In a recent interview with French newspaper, Le Monde, Glen Sweetnam, main oil adviser to the Obama administration, admitted that "a chance exists that we may experience a decline" of world liquid fuels production between 2011 and 2015 if the investment was not forthcoming.

Lionel Badal, a post-graduate student at Kings College, London, who has been researching Peak Oil theories, said the review by the American military moves the debate on.

"It's surprising to see that the US Army, unlike the US Department of Energy, publicly warns of major oil shortages in the near-term. Now it could be interesting to know on which study the information is based on," he said.

"The Energy Information Administration (of the department of energy) has been saying for years that Peak Oil was "decades away". In light of the report from the US Joint Forces Command, is the EIA still confident of its previous highly optimistic conclusions?"

The Joint Operating Environment report paints a bleak picture of what can happen on occasions when there is serious economic upheaval. "One should not forget that the Great Depression spawned a number of totalitarian regimes that sought economic prosperity for their nations by ruthless conquest," it points out.
Finding Homegrown Solutions

By Heather Zichal on 7 April 2010 in FavStocks - 

Yesterday, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Jackalyne Pfannenstiel kicked off the first of several energy forums in front of a packed room to look at ways to increase biofuels production and meet the Navy’s renewable energy needs. The forum comes as a result of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently signed by the USDA and the Navy to encourage the development of advanced biofuels and other renewable energy systems.

As the President pointed out in his energy security remarks last week, “…the Pentagon isn’t seeking these alternative fuels just to protect our environment; they’re pursuing these homegrown energy sources to protect our national security. Our military leaders recognize the security imperative of increasing the use of alternative fuels, decreasing energy use, reducing our reliance on imported oil, making ourselves more energy-efficient.”

And as Deputy Secretary Merrigan explained, the military’s significant fuel demands can serve, “…as a catalyst to increase demand for biofuels and spur economic opportunities in rural communities throughout the country.” Hawaii was selected as the location for the initial collaboration between USDA and the Navy because Hawaii’s energy costs are among the highest in the nation and imported oil supplies 90 percent of the State’s energy.

Today’s forum is an important first step in developing homegrown solutions to the Navy and Hawaii’s significant energy challenges through biofuels. For example, Maj. Gen Pawling (HIANG), Chief of Staff of the U.S. Pacific Command, spoke about the whole-of-government team they have put together to begin developing an enterprise model and strategy to eventually procure 25% of its jet fuel (20 million gallons/year) from locally grown and locally refined sources. Participants in this effort include USDA, Department of Energy, and State of Hawaii as well as several DoD offices, including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Defense Energy Support Center, Navy and Air Force Energy Offices, DARPA, and more.

This local working group recognizes that recent technological advancements now make it feasible and cost effective to produce advanced biofuels that meet military specifications for jet fuel, with the Air Force just completing a successful test flight last month. So now they are turning their attention to the issue of supply. Through a $150 million investment by DARPA in an algae-derived jet fuel demonstration on Kauai, and active participation by private industry and the landowner, it is now feasible to have a plan for locally-derived biofuels.

These are exactly the kinds of initiatives we need – bringing together local, state and Federal officials; leveraging both the public and private sector – to find the creative and sustainable solutions to our economic and energy challenges that are mutually beneficial to the local community by creating clean energy jobs and industries; and our national security by helping to achieve our energy independence goals.

Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have worked hard to accelerate the investment in and production of American biofuels and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels as part of the President’s comprehensive energy plan. But, to use an agricultural analogy, what businesses need to take root and to grow is certainty, the kind of certainty that would be provided by comprehensive energy and climate legislation that puts a price on carbon and incentivizes the development of the clean energy technologies that will power the 21st century economy. .

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