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National Security, or National Vulnerability?

By February 19, 2010March 11th, 2016Blog, Fuel for Thought

National Security, or National Vulnerability?

At ROUSH CleanTech, we have a saying, “Let’s let the truth guide us.” It keeps us from having too many meaningless conversations.

Jack Roush recently introduced me to an organization called CNA, a not-for-profit research organization dedicated to operations research analysis to support the U.S. military and government. One such project was the analysis of the German U-Boat Threat in the 1940s. CNA’s literature explains this early project was groundbreaking work resulting in anti-submarine warfare barrier equations that set the standard for future operations research methods.”

I believe they are a credible and highly valued organization. Their fact-based advice and opinions are multi-layered and extensively researched.

While reading through some of their projects online, I found a few comprehensive reports that offer a great overview of the real impact of U.S. energy independence. You will find many detailed CNA reports that outline the guiding principles of our country’s national energy policy here.

Their report, “Ensuring America’s Freedom of Movement: A National Security Imperative to Reduce U.S. Oil Dependence,” published October 2011, offers some compelling news:

… Our overreliance on oil is a national vulnerability. If even a small percentage of the daily supply of oil is interrupted, our nation’s economic engine, which is heavily reliant on transportation, could be significantly impacted. Despite our strategic oil reserve, the consequences for a sustained oil disruption – oil shock – would impact every aspect of our lives, from food distribution and what (or if) we eat, to manufacturing goods and services and associated jobs, to how we move from place to place in the conduct of our everyday lives …

… Our dependence on oil reduces our foreign policy options — no small concern as Middle East uprisings continue and dangerous regimes work to develop nuclear weapons. It leads us down foreign policy paths that ultimately put our troops in harm’s way. Oil dependence drags our economy downward, thwarts investment, and imperils our historic role as technology leaders …

… Our overreliance on oil is made worse by our lack of control over global supplies, which is why, in this report, we focus on oil generally and not on foreign oil specifically. Oil is a global commodity, and any amounts of oil produced in North America become part of the global supply. When global prices spike upward, the domestic price also spikes — we don’t get “big-box store” discounts just because of our nationality. We too often watch idly how these price swings have been, and continue to be manipulated by parties beyond U.S. control or influence …

… The long list of viable alternatives to oil is good news. We have options. Good ones. While the options are many, no single option is poised to occupy the singular place that petroleum now holds in American society. This, too, should be viewed with optimism, because it allows us to accept a future characterized by diverse supplies. Our current overreliance on a single fuel is a weakness; relying on diverse fuels and vehicle types can be a strength. Seeking a silver bullet would be a major mistake – we should pursue diversity.

There are more reports. Many more. Take a look. Yes, I know you are busy. But the evidence in these publications is compelling. You will not regret taking 30 minutes of your day to read through these reports.

These experts agree that embracing natural gas, propane autogas and other sources of domestic energy for transportation use are critical to our national security.