NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Oil Dependence Hurts Military Readiness

October 2, 2001

America's dependence on foreign oil is not only an economic concern but a national security issue as well. We are highly reliant on foreign oil, much of which comes from the Middle East.

  • During the 1970s energy crisis, America was 36 percent dependent on foreign oil.
  • Today we are 56 percent dependent -- and by 2010 we're headed for well over 60 percent.
  • For the military it now takes eight times as much oil to meet the needs of each soldier as it did during World War II.
  • The Department of Defense now accounts for nearly 80 percent of U.S. government energy use -- 75 percent of that for jet fuel.

During the Persian Gulf War, our 582,000 soldiers consumed 450,000 barrels of petroleum products a day -- four times the amount used by the two million soldiers who liberated Europe in World War II.

This is why, observers note, energy is a top priority and the House passed a bipartisan comprehensive energy policy, which the Senate must now act on.

The energy package includes provisions for encouraging conservation, efficiency and alternative sources, and (in two pages out of a 300-page bill) what proponents call "safe energy exploration" on a small tract of desolate land in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Source: Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), "The Senate Energy Debate," Washington Times, October 2, 2001.


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