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National Security

Flash Forward

"When a barrel of oil goes up by four dollars, Saudi Arabia gets an extra trillion dollars" – Wit Ostrenko, Executive Director, Museum and Science and Industry, Tampa, FL

Today, America uses 25 percent of the world’s energy although we are but 5 percent of the world’s population. We import most of the oil that we use for automobile fuel, plastics and lubricants. This imbalance in our energy policy leaves us vulnerable to oil providing countries. What will happen if providers decide they need the oil more than they need our money? In August 2010, Russia decided to withhold all exports of wheat due to drought reduced crop yields.

Russia wants to provide food for its own people.  This caused international grain prices to spike as markets placed bets that without shipments from one of the world's leading exporters, global supplies would be restricted.

Can oil be any different?

Having the fuels we need is not just a matter of convenience, but of national survival.  Biofuels produced here in America will free us of that dependence on imported oil.

More and more, Americans are flexing their creative energy in developing clean and renewable energy. 

Many Americans have converted diesel cars and trucks to run on recycled vegetable oil, and many are taking the extra step of processing that recycled vegetable oil into biodiesel.  Biodiesel operation requires no modifications to existing diesel engines.  Flex-fuel vehicles are becoming commonplace on the highways, but the ethanol blended fuel is not available on a large scale. Biofuels are a tribute to American ingenuity, but are we supporting this new technology on the scale necessary to supplant our use of fossil fuels?

Biodiesel and ethanol plants are opening around the country, but at a slow rate. They are bogged down with petro-campaigns of misinformation and stifling over-regulation. Enormous resources are being directed to maintaining the status quo.  Despite the anger surrounding the BP oil spill in the Gulf, very few voices are calling for solutions to our energy policy that we can implement here and now.

An organized campaign of misinformation argues food vs. fuel, water usage and land use issues.  These are non-issues.We produce enough corn to make ethanol and also to feed those that depend on our grain.  Recent improvements in crop irrigation and harvest technology have greatly reduced the demand for water in ethanol production, and will continue to reduce requirements in the future.

Thousands of American farmers are growing crops for the production of biofuels, and thousands more are needed.  It is important to remember that biofuels will provide national security as well as American jobs, so badly needed in this economic recession. 

We need citiations, referencance on the water, energy, food issues…

For Further Reading

  • Goettemoeller, Jeffrey; Adrian Goettemoeller (2007), Sustainable Ethanol: Biofuels, Biorefineries, Cellulosic Biomass, Flex-Fuel Vehicles, and Sustainable Farming for Energy Independence, Prairie Oak Publishing, Maryville, Missouri, ISBN 978-0-9786293-0-4. See Chapter 7. Food, Farming, and Land Use.
  • The Worldwatch Institute (2007), Biofuels for Transport: Global Potential and Implications for Energy and Agriculture, Earthscan Publications Ltd., London, U.K., ISBN 978-1-84407-422-8. Global view, includes country study cases of Brazil, China, India and Tanzania.

Some factoids

A July 2010 study by the World Bank concluded that "the effect of biofuels on food prices has not been as large as originally thought, but that the use of commodities by financial investors (the so-called ”financialization of commodities”) may have been partly responsible for the 2007/08 spike." A 2008 independent study by OECD also found that the impact of biofuels on food prices are much smaller than expected.