RES Counterplan—1NC Shell
The United States federal government should substantially increase funding for the development,procurement, and deployment of renewable energy systems in the United States armed forces.Fuel costs directly trade off with US military modernization efforts—robust funding and politicalsupport for alternative energy is vitalArmy Times 1/22/07
Oil prices in recent days have taken a dip, but the dizzying heights that fuel costs reached over the past year have raised concerns that the petroleum-based U.S.economy is much too dependent on the volatile Middle East. And
gas prices also affect military modernization. Every $10 increase in the priceof a barrel of oil costs the U.S. military $1.3 billion a year, and unexpected increases
generally come right out of acquisition
Pentagon officials say.Indeed, the strategic importance of energy has shaped American foreign policy for more than half a century. Yet
for too long, the U.S. government hasshied away from prudent investments into alternative sources of fuel and energy.
However, energy concerns are beginning to shape U.S.defense research. Energy-saving products are the inevitable wave of the future; U.S. planners -- in and out of the military -- would be smart to encourage domesticindustry to start developing them.Of course, there's no such thing as a free tank of fuel. Converting nonliquid materials -- gas, corn, sawgrass, coal -- into jet fuel takes energy and producesunwanted byproducts. Conservation, therefore, must play an even larger role in U.S. military planning and operations.The Defense Department has made a good start. The Army is using solar-electricity generators in Iraq. The Navy is building its ships with drag-reducing bulbous bows. The Air Force gets about 10 percent of its base electricity from wind, solar power and gas recovered from landfills. And overall, the Pentagon aims to reduceenergy use in its facilities by 2 percent a year through 2015.But
it's clear that developing and adapting to clean fuel alternatives has a long way to go in the military
, as it does throughout U.S. society
Robust funding and political support for continued research and development of military solutions to the over-dependenceon oil products is vital to military modernization and, ultimately, national security.