The $1 trillion budget bill before Congress includes a provision that would resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline, but don't expect its passage to open a flood of black gold and wash away Uncle Sam's infatuation with all things green. Even as the scientific validation of global-warming theory crumbles, adherents in Washington have dragooned the U.S. military into leading the charge toward renewable energy.
The Navy made headlines last week with the revelation that it has been ordered to purchase 450,000 gallons of biofuel to power its jet fighters. Conventional jet fuel costs about $4 a gallon, but the biofuel made from fermented algae will set back the service about $16 a gallon. The pricey green gas, says the Navy, will be used next summer to power planes participating in exercises near Hawaii under the politically correct title of "the Great Green Fleet Carrier Strike Force." The purchase is part of a larger deal in which the Navy is partnering with the Agriculture and Energy departments to buy $510 million worth of biofuels over three years.
One supplier is California-based Solazyme, which received $22 million in federal stimulus funds to construct a biofuel plant in Louisiana. A company adviser, according to Hot Air, is T.J. Glauthier, who was a member of President Obama's transition team. So in essence, overspending feds borrowed stimulus money, handed it over to an Obama buddy who helps build a factory for algae fuel that the feds buy back at quadruple the going rate. Meanwhile, the defense budget is slashed by $500 billion and faces additional cuts of $1.2 trillion as a result of the congressional debt panel's failure to approve a deficit reduction plan - all in the name of "sustainability."
Global-warming believers at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are the reason Navy blue has gone green. In 2007, Congress mandated that the Pentagon procure 25 percent of its energy needs from renewable-energy sources by 2025. Mr. Obama mandated 20 percent by 2020. This is despite a growing consensus that climate-change theory is all bunk. Earlier this month, more than 1,000 scientists went on the record in dissent of claims by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that human activity is causing the planet to heat up.
Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline means that one day soon, more than 1 million barrels of oil a day could be filling Gulf Coast refineries, undercutting the thin rationale for the Navy being on board with renewables. But like an aircraft carrier changing course, it may take longer for warmists in government to admit their commitment to biofuel and other costly green products is unsustainable.
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