Advanced Biofuels USA, an internationally respected nonprofit educational organization dedicated to promoting the understanding, development and use of advanced biofuels as an energy security, economic development, military flexibility and climate change/pollution control solution finds the Obama Administration’s proposal for an Energy Security Trust counterproductive, insufficient and inconsistent with previous Administration statements regarding the urgency of addressing the harmful effects of climate change.
If the Obama Administration is serious about reducing the effects of climate change and reducing national security threats to the US, anything less than a carbon tax invested in achieving specific goals of electricity use reduction and transition to truly renewable transportation fuels is unacceptable.
Advanced Biofuels USA’s position on the proposed Energy Security Trust
The Energy Security Trust recently proposed by President Obama once again is an example of this Administration’s inability to intelligently address the very serious national security threat posed by anthropomorphic climate change.
On March 12, 2013 before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, James R. Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, as part of the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community stated the importance of climate change as a national security issue. (1)
Competition and scarcity involving natural resources—food, water, minerals, and energy—are growing security threats. Many countries important to the United States are vulnerable to natural resource shocks that degrade economic development, frustrate attempts to democratize, raise the risk of regime-threatening instability, and aggravate regional tensions. Extreme weather events (floods, droughts, heat waves) will increasingly disrupt food and energy markets, exacerbating state weakness, forcing human migrations, and triggering riots, civil disobedience, and vandalism.
Food security has been aggravated partly because the world’s land masses are being affected by weather conditions outside of historical norms, including more frequent and extreme floods, droughts, wildfires, tornadoes, coastal high water, and heat waves. Rising temperature, for example, although enhanced in the Arctic, is not solely a high-latitude phenomenon. Recent scientific work shows that temperature anomalies during growing seasons and persistent droughts have hampered agricultural productivity and extended wildfire seasons. Persistent droughts during the past decade have also diminished flows in the Nile, Tigris-Euphrates, Niger, Amazon, and Mekong river basins.
Instead of an all-out Apollo Program scale effort to immediately reduce the production of Green House Gases (GHGs) through the only two strategies that work:
- 1) reduce the consumption of all energy types, and
- 2) convert non-renewable GHG producing fuels to renewable non-GHG producing fuels,
the Administration has produced the opposite.
Their solution, the Energy Security Trust, is an “all–of-the-above” program that is primarily focused on increasing the production of non-renewable, GHG producing natural gas for the production of electricity that would in part be used for inefficient electric vehicles that rely on rare earth minerals for their batteries. As Director Clapper stated on 12 March, reliance on these minerals is also a significant national security threat.
Rare earth elements (REE) are essential to civilian and military technologies and to the 21st century global economy, including development of green technologies and advanced defense systems. China holds a commanding monopoly over world REE supplies, controlling about 95 percent of mined production and refining. China’s dominance and policies on pricing and exports are leading other countries to pursue mitigation strategies, but those strategies probably will have only limited impact within the next five years and will almost certainly not end Chinese REE dominance. REE prices spiked after China enacted a 40-percent export quota cut in July 2010, peaking at record highs in mid-2011. As of December 2012, REE prices had receded but still remained at least 80 percent, and as much as 600 percent (depending on the type of REE), above pre-July 2010 levels.
Therefore, Advanced Biofuels USA does not support this latest initiative of the Obama Administration. Instead, we propose the immediate passage of a carbon tax that would be used
- 1) to fund a major research effort focused on producing 75% of our transportation fuel needs from advanced biofuels within a decade and
- 2) a 50% reduction in US electrical energy use.
If the Administration is serious about reducing the effects of Climate Change and reducing National Security threats to the US, anything less is unacceptable.
(1) Statement for the Record Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence March 12, 2013 http://intelligence.senate.gov/130312/clapper.pdf
The complete statement is available online http://advancedbiofuelsusa.info/energy-security-trust-counterproductive-says-advanced-biofuels-usa-preferring-a-true-carbon-tax-and-apollo-program-scale-efforts
Advanced Biofuels USA,a nonprofit educational organization advocates for the adoption of advanced biofuels as an energy security, military flexibility, economic development and climate change mitigation/pollution control solution. Our key tool for accomplishing this is our web site,www.AdvancedBiofuelsUSA.org, a resource for everyone from opinion-leaders, decision-makers and legislators to industry professionals, investors, feedstock growers and researchers; as well as journalists, teachers and students.
Contact: Joanne Ivancic, Executive Director, Advanced Biofuels USA; 301-644-1395, (cell: 301-524-6841); [email protected]
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