Politically fashionable plans could undercut military readiness.
Not only could you lose your job under the current environmental regime, but you could also lose your life.
That is one of the inescapable conclusions that can be drawn from a recently released book authored by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a scholar with the Manhattan Institute, who was kind enough to discuss some of her key findings at her office in Washington D.C.
With President Obama re-elected to a second term, green activists who hold considerable sway with federal agencies are well-positioned to advance policies that jeopardize not just the economy, but also America’s geo-political standing, she explained.
That last part often gets overlooked, but in reality the nation’s energy policy is inextricably linked to national security. Unfortunately, top officials within the Defense Department have already succumbed to environmental directives that could work to the advantage of military adversaries, Furchtgott-Roth observes.
“What many environmentalists view as morally superior, could have very negative policy ramifications, not just for the economy, but also for our military,” she said. “If the military does become more reliant upon renewable energy and biofuels, as opposed to more traditional energy sources, there are ways this could conceivably be exploited by a future adversary.”
The Obama White House has already pressured the Air Force and Navy into becoming more reliant upon renewable energy, according to the book. While this may be politically fashionable, these plans could undercut military readiness, Furchtgott-Roth warns.
“Although shipping diesel and gasoline to remote battlefields is costly, using renewable energy has its own set of challenges,” she tells readers. “It takes up massive amounts of land to gather very diluted energy streams. Recharging a laptop with a fold-up solar panel is plausible, but larger devices would require more substantial panels, or even windmills, that could be spotted by the enemy.”
Nevertheless, recent statements from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta indicate that climate change is now viewed as a pressing national security threat.
“Rising sea-levels, severe droughts, the melting of the polar ice caps, the more frequent and devastating natural disasters all raise demand for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” he said during an address to the Environmental Defense Fund in May 2012. The Defense Department’s re-evaluation of its energy use, and its pursuit of renewable fuel sources is linked to the debate over climate change.
Furchtgott-Roth’s book, entitled, Regulating to Disaster: How Green Job Policies Are Damaging America’s Economy, argues persuasively that it is the anti-energy global warming policies, not global warming per se, that are the real national security threats.
Take the Keystone XL pipeline, which environmentalists have delayed from going into full production. Along with all its economic advantages, there was a national security component at work in that the pipeline would provide the U.S. military to critical energy resources in a stable, friendly region of the world. But it has not yet been approved by the U.S. State Department.
“Environmentalists attacked the proposed Keystone XL pipeline because it would expand the use of the oil sands in Alberta, Canada, which is a more carbon-intensive form of oil than that produced from traditional underground reservoirs,” Furchtgott-Roth explains. “Yet in the State Department’s environmental review it was noted that ‘Oil sands mining projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions intensity by an average of 39 percent between 1990 and 2008 and are working toward further reductions.’ ”
But there’s no point in bothering Team Obama with the facts.
Instead of pursuing policies that would create new job opportunities, the administration is peddling the concept of green jobs, an elusive, nebulous concept that is defined differently across federal and state agencies. There is often a short degree of separation between the duties and responsibilities of green workers and non-green workers.
“While you are writing this article it is possible that you have a green job,” Furchtgott-Roth said. “My book could qualify as an environmental book since it is about green jobs. Book publishers are also green if they issue environmental books.”
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