Ignore Congress and the president if you want a clear picture of what Washington really thinks.
Focus on the military instead. They’re in the business of real defense, not spin and PR smokescreens. When they say they’re going to get something done, they get it done…
Unlike someone I know who said he was going to end two wars, not multiply them.
Also unlike 535 people I know who constantly promise energy and tax and immigration reform, but instead seemingly spend their time dreaming up new sleazy scandals to distract us from their inaction.
Deceivers aside, if you can gain insight into the strategic thinking of our military and agencies like the CIA and FBI, you can get a nonpartisan, unbiased view of the challenges facing our country — and a head start on the solutions we’ll use to combat them.
Pentagon Prepares for the Peak
A new strategic report from the Pentagon’s Operational Energy office now classifies energy as a “military capability”, making it as important as the death and mobility of soldiers.
It makes sense, considering 3,000 soldiers have lost their lives in fuel supply convoy attacks since 2003 and 80% of all supply trucks in Afghanistan and Iraq (probably should add Libya and Yemen to that list) are carrying fuel…
The move is meant to not only curtail the branch’s $15 billion annual energy tab; but also to prepare for a world where oil is less abundant and readily available.
This is pretty heavy stuff here.
The United States military — the most advanced and well-funded in the world, creators of the Internet and home of Seal Team Six — has admitted declining oil supplies and rising prices have become a “significant vulnerability”.
Those were the exact words from Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn, who added the “ability to sustain military operations is increasingly threatened” in the face of fuel supply uncertainties.
Bring in the Big Guns
So what’s the plan?
Does the Pentagon want to drill, baby, drill for more oil in Alaska and the Gulf? Do they want to transition to clean coal?
No. They aren’t wasting time with lobbyist-sponsored political sound bites or industry pandering.
They want to make a swift transition to a sustainable fuel supply.
(I have to pause here to formally recognize and mourn the death of the “renewables will never work” argument, as it’s now on par with the infamous 1950s line asserting no one would ever need a personal computer.)
When the military adopts a technology, it has most certainly been vetted and proven to work in the harshest of conditions. They have Bible-sized handbooks just to specify the exact materials worthy enough of use.
Renewables are passing these tests with flying colors.
From The Wall Street Journal:
The Army is already fielding a new generation of more efficient electric generators and experimenting with smart grids that can further reduce fuel needs. Both the Army and the Marines are using small, portable solar panels to help troops in the field power their ever-increasing array of batteries.
The next priority is to diversify energy supplies, with a special focus on reducing the military’s dependence on oil by increasing investments in biofuels and renewable energy.
Not to be omitted, the Navy and Air Force are certifying their fleets to run on biofuels. It’s all part of a three-pronged plan to:
Reduce consumption on the battlefield;
Transition to alternative energy sources; and
Build more energy-efficient vehicles and weapons.
All three parts are going to involve two major investment themes I’ve already been telling you about.
Batteries is the first.
Each soldier in Afghanistan can carry, on average, 33 batteries weighing 10 pounds to power critical gear. By next year, that will increase to 50 batteries weighing 18 pounds.
Batteries are critical for storing solar energy and powering devices that would otherwise burn gas or diesel. And the batteries they’re using are a crucial part of the plan.
Materials are second.
Building ships, planes, drones, and weapons out of lighter material is the best way to reduce fuel consumption. This means using new blends of alloys and materials that deliver military-grade performance with less weight.
I’ve already told you about vanadium and beryllium, and I’ll have a few new videos out soon with more details on how they’re being used and how you can profit.
In the meantime, you can check out the Pentagon Operational Energy Report by getting the PDF here.
I’ll leave you with what I consider its strongest line:
The realities of global oil markets mean a disruption of oil supplies is plausible and increasingly likely in the coming decades.
Call it like you see it,
Editor, Energy and Capital