Photo courtesy of U.S. Army.

Republicans have been going after the Navy’s biofuel program, the “Green Fleet,” as I covered here and here. As I’ve said, I have mixed feelings about military biofuels. Apart from the details of that program, though, I expect that this is the first sortie in what will become a broader conservative campaign against the military’s efforts to move beyond fossil fuels. So let’s have a reminder of just why the military is doing what it’s doing.

In 2008, the Defense Science Board Task Force on Department of Defense Energy Strategy released its findings in a seminal report called “More Fight — Less Fuel.” Here, from a slideshow summary [PDF] of the report, are the “two primary energy risks to DoD.”

  1. Unnecessarily high and growing operational fuel demand increases mission risk
  2. Critical missions at fixed installations are at unacceptable risk from extended power loss

So: too much liquid fuel needed in the field and too much reliance on unsteady power grids at the bases.