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MILITARY PREPARES FOR PEAK OIL
Acknowledges Global Peak Oil Likely Happened in 2005
Surrounding Military Installations With Renewables
Preparing For Frequent Blackouts
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March 30, 2006 1700 PST (FTW) - The Army has officially acknowledged Global Peak Oil likely occurred in 2005.
The Army Corp. of Engineers completed a report in September of 2005 titled Energy Trends and Their Implications for U.S. Army Installations. Though completed six months ago, it was not publicly available until recently. The report focuses entirely on Peak Oil, and lists the date for Global Peak Oil as falling somewhere between 2005 and 2020.1 But, further in the report, 2005 is explicitly stated as being the year that global oil production likely peaked:
Petroleum experts Colin Campbell, Jean Laherrere, Brian Fleay, Roger Blanchard, Richard Duncan, Walter Youngquist, and Albert Bartlett (using various methodologies) have all estimated that a peak in conventional oil production will occur around 2005. The corporate executive officers (CEOs) of Agip, ENI SpA (Italian oil companies), and Arco have also published estimates of a peak in 2005. These reliable estimates all project that conventional oil peak production will occur within the next few years (Campbell and Laherrere 1998; Youngquist 1997; Campbell 2004). Reduced demands caused by high prices may delay the peak slightly, but the peak is certainly within sight.2
There are admissions all over this document validating what FTW has been reporting on for over four years, and they use the same credible sources we’ve cited repeatedly. When viewed in conjunction with other Department of Defense (DoD) reports, we see clearly that the military is preparing its American installations for blackouts by surrounding itself with renewable energy infrastructure both on- and off-base.
From the DoD Renewable Energy Assessment Final Report published in March of 2005:
(The DoD will) encourage installations to evaluate renewable energy alternatives as part of contingency planning for grid outages. Planning should be done regionally, include regional utilities and suppliers, and consider the use of the installation’s renewable energy capacity as part of a local islanding strategy. [emphasis added]3
For more than a year I have been documenting the military’s ongoing development and embrace of renewable energy technologies. The Air Force has been doing the same by forming the Renewable Working Group (RWG) to assess all renewable technologies within 100 miles of domestic military installations including those located on-base. They have also just announced that they are the largest purchaser of renewable energy in the nation.4
It cannot be mere coincidence that the Army’s Peak Oil report was published online only days before CNN aired their Peak Oil documentary (without invoking the term) and just weeks before the DoD hosted their first of many “interagency conversations on energy” where former Director of Central Intelligence James R. Woolsey was the main speaker. There is a lot moving under the carpet. March 2006 marks the beginning of Peak Oil’s coming out party.
The current energy situation is described in this report as “highly uncertain,” “problematic,” and the outlook for oil is “not good.” The report also states that, “The United States is headed for a significant crisis in natural gas supply.”
The realistic picture of pessimism painted by this report is sure to help propel the knee jerk reactions FTW and other publications have long predicted were on the horizon: the further exploitation of nuclear energy and coal. The stage is also being set to use Peak Oil as false justification for resource wars around the globe even though the report prefers the rhetoric of environmental “greening” to that of global conquest.
This rhetoric is invoked because the finance community has recognized global warming as a significant risk to international markets. The trade of CO2 emissions is a new and growing derivatives market that emerged from the Kyoto Protocol being embraced by most developed industrial nations (excluding the U.S.). Environmentalists be warned: the military is not your friend. They are concerned with protecting global capitalism, not the ecosystem. If the military is so concerned about the environment, why is there not one mention of limiting growth in the Army report? Don’t be fooled, be smart.
The report does a somewhat decent job of viewing renewable energy in a realistic light, but ignores the most fundamental problems these technologies confront in the face of Peak.5 There is one honest admission in regards to the reality of biofuels:
Biofuels, despite their dubious energy effectiveness, will grow considerably due to tax credits and government programs.6
In other words, taxpayer money will subsidize inefficiency.
We must recognize not only what this report says but also what it leaves out. It recognizes that Global Peak Oil almost certainly occurred last year and that we must start a mitigation plan immediately, but it never once mentions the Hirsch Report from SAIC that states such a plan must begin 30 years prior to Peak to avoid major social and economic turmoil.
What does that tell us? 2 + 2 = ?
Peak is upon us; this report is the Army’s warning shot, and they are prepared to do whatever they must to protect their own interests regardless of what the government does or does not do:
The Army needs to present its perspective to higher authorities and be prepared to proceed regardless of the national measures that are taken. 7
1 Donald F. Fournier and Eileen T. Westervelt, Energy Trends and Their Implications for U.S. Army Installations, page xi, within Table E3 titled Energy Options (Fossil Fuels), http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A440265&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
3 DOD Renewable Energy Assessment Report, March 14, 2005, http://www.acq.osd.mil/ie/irm/irm_library/Final%20Renewable
5 See FTW’s Renewables series, PART 1, 3 AND 4
6 Ibid, note 1, page 47
7 Ibid, page xii