The Pentagon has been talking recently about going oil-free by 2050, a fairly radical initiative given the hidebound nature of the institution and the complexity of the technologies it employs.
But oil apparently is among the least of the Army's energy problems.
According to this newly-minted memorandum , the Army's assistant chief of staff for installation management is more worried that the worldwide supply of natural gas will dry up within 25 years. Says the memo:
"Current Army assumption is that natural gas may cease to be a viable fueld for the Army within the next 25 years based on price volatility and affordable supply availability."
If the Army's assumptions are correct, the situation may "threaten the Army's ability to house, train and deploy soldiers," adds the memo.
What will replace natural gas? This is certainly not my field of expertise, but perhaps readers or other bloggers may have something to add here.
I know the Air Force is keen about a new form of synthetic fuel derived from liquefied coal to power its jet aircraft. A demonstration is underway with the B-52, which is actually using a slightly different synthetic product derived from -- oops -- natural gas. The fuel is made using a process known as Fischer-Trope, which has the unfortunate distinction of being employed by only two countries -- Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa.-- Stephen Trimble