By Alex Epstein
Last month, President Biden issued a “net zero” Executive Order that threatens the very existence of our nation. And yet he has received very little pushback.
**The Biden Administration recently issued an Executive Order that commits the Federal Government to reduce emissions 65% by 2030 and be “net zero” by 2050.
This commitment is suicidal because 3/4 of government energy use is for defense—and most of that must come from fossil fuels.**1
- Our government has a sacred obligation to do everything it can to protect our lives and freedom—including those of our troops. Joe Biden recently violated this obligation flagrantly by committing the Federal government to wildly inferior “net zero” energy sources.
- Our lives, freedom, and troops depend on a defense system that is committed to using the absolute best possible tools to protect America. Above all, this means the best forms of energy to power the myriad machines, including weapons, that this country’s defense depends on.2
- Defending our country requires so much energy that over 3/4 the Federal Government’s energy use is for defense. The vast majority of this energy is fossil fuel—the most cost-effective and often only way to power our defense. Oil-based jet fuel alone is over 50% of DOD’s energy.3
- Can biofuels make Biden’s net-zero commitment work by replacing oil? Not even close. Biofuels scale terribly, because they require huge amounts of scarce farmland. They are also a security risk because their supply chain is heavily dependent on China (e.g., for phosphate).4
- Can synthetic oil fuels be a net-zero replacement for oil, especially jet fuel? Not even close because: 1) they are extremely expensive to produce—and 2) for the foreseeable future they will require huge amounts of fossil fuel to produce.5
- The bottom line is that actually pursuing “net zero” would destroy our military and lead the US to be conquered by our enemies. Thus, our government will not pursue “net zero” at all consistently. But Biden’s public commitment to “net zero” guarantees myriad deadly half-measures.
- The Biden Administration knows that most of our government’s energy comes from defense, and most energy for defense must come from oil for the foreseeable future. That’s why the “commitment” to “net zero” has a hidden exemption for national security that renders it fraudulent.6
- The inevitable consequence of Biden’s fraudulent governmental “commitment” to “net zero” is that the government will continue using huge amounts of fossil fuel, but that it will constantly sacrifice what is best for our security in the name of marginal fossil fuel reductions.
- An example of sacrificing security to “net zero” symbolism is a much-touted solar+battery installation for the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range. Given the cost of batteries and vulnerability of solar arrays, this is far more costly and less secure than using compact diesel generators.7
- Resources are limited, especially in an era of significant inflation and necessary government cutbacks. Every dollar the government wastes on more expensive defense supplies, such as “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” that costs 4-8X regular jet fuel, is a failure to put security first.8
- Every strategic/tactical concession our government makes can mean the difference between life and death for our troops, for our citizens, and even for our existence as a nation. It’s terrifying that government is making countless security concessions in the name of “net zero.”
- Recent history should have taught us that our national defense needs to be rigorously focused on the goal of protecting the lives and freedom of our citizens. It shouldn’t go on democracy-building adventures, nor should it ignore threats. And it shouldn’t try to be net-zero.
- In a world where Russia is becoming more aggressive and China is testing hypersonic missiles in its quest to be the world’s superpower, our military is focused on adopting as many forms of inferior energy as possible to achieve net-zero fantasies.
- President Biden must immediately reassure us that he will not commit our defense to being “net zero,” but rather give it whatever energy it needs to protect America, period. If he does not, he deserves to be removed from office for deliberately sacrificing national security.
- White House – Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy – Comprehensive Annual Energy Data and Sustainability Performance
- U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy – Comprehensive Annual Energy Data and Sustainability Performance, annual data
- U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy – Comprehensive Annual Energy Data and Sustainability Performance
- DOE estimates that in an optimistic future scenario enough biomass could be harvested in the US to create over 50 billion gallons of biofuels annually. Global aviation fuel demand alone is already over 100 billion gallons and is expected to more than double until 2050. US gasoline consumption in 2020 was already over 120 billion gallons, more than twice the amount that could be created from US biomass.
U.S. Energy Information Administration – How much gasoline does the United States consume?
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy – Sustainable Aviation Fuels
U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy – Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Review of Technical Pathways
- “Electrofuels will require very high public incentives. The equivalent of €2.50 or €3 per diesel equivalent liter subsidies would be needed to deliver significant volumes of electrofuels. … Even in a best-case scenario with €3 per liter policy incentives and adequate environmental safeguards implemented by Member States, electrofuels can deliver only modest climate benefits of up to 4 million tonnes CO2e reduction annually by 2030, offsetting 0.5% of projected road transport GHG emissions in 2030 in the EU.“
International Council on Clean Transportation – ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE OF ELECTROFUELS IN EUROPE
- White House – Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory – U.S. Navy, KIUC, AES, and NREL Innovate and Collaborate for Resilience and Cost-Effective Clean Energy Project on Kauai
- “Growing the market faces several hurdles, primarily due to the cost of SAF, which is currently up to 8 times higher than regular jet fuel, and the limited availability of feedstock.“
Reuters – Oil giant Shell sets sights on sustainable aviation fuel take-off
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