War For Oil, Or Oil For War?

The Wall Street Journal has an article suggesting that the military consumes 340,000 barrels of oil a day, compared to Iraq’s 2.4 million; and that the Defense Department paid $13.6 billion for energy in 2006. I suspect that these figures would be what uniformed personnel consumed. Maybe somebody here knows, but I feel fairly confident that contractors in Iraq — even contractors carrying out military missions — consume oil that escapes these estimates.

Wasting oil is nothing compared to wasting lives, but even so I can think of better uses for 340,000 barrels of oil a day.

Dreazen, Yochi J. 2008. “U.S. Military Launches Alternative-Fuel Push Dependence on Oil.” Wall Street Journal (21 May): p A 1.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121134017363909773.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

“The U.S. military consumes 340,000 barrels of oil a day, or 1.5% of all of the oil used in the country. The Defense Department’s overall energy bill was $13.6 billion in 2006, the latest figure available — almost 25% higher than the year before. The Air Force’s bill for jet fuel alone has tripled in the past four years. When the White House submitted its latest budget request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it tacked on a $2 billion surcharge for rising fuel costs.”

“Just as important, the military is increasingly concerned that its dependence on oil represents a strategic threat. U.S. forces in Iraq alone consume 40,000 barrels of oil a day trucked in from neighboring countries.”

“The Air Force wants to be able to purchase 400 million gallons of synthetic jet fuel a year by 2016, an amount equal to 25% of its total fuel needs for missions in the continental U.S. This year, it expects to buy slightly more than 300,000 gallons.”

1 comment so far

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