America’s military should wean itself off oil by 2040 in order to end the high vulnerability of its fuel supply to attack and price spikes, according to a new report. The U.S. Department of Defense currently relies on petroleum for about 77 percent of its energy needs, including aircraft, ground transportation, ships, and weapons, according to the Center for a New American Security, a non-partisan group based in Washington, D.C. That reliance makes the U.S. military vulnerable to extreme fuel price spikes as the global market competes for increasingly depleted petroleum supplies, the report said. “Ensuring that DOD can operate on non-petroleum fuels 30 years from today is a conservative hedge against prevailing economic, political and environmental trends, conditions and constraints,” the authors say.
While that shift will likely take decades, the report says the Defense Department has already established the groundwork, including significant development and testing of numerous renewable sources of energy. The report offered the military 12 guiding principles to make the transition to renewable sources of energy, including steadily increasing the use of renewable fuels at domestic military installations, improving energy efficiency, planning for an uncertain and unstable energy future, and developing new, non-petroleum fuels to use in existing equipment.