The U.S. Air Force recently spent $59 a gallon to fly planes. This was a biofuels experiment.
Normally, the oil-based fuel cost $3.96 a gallon.
The Air Force is in a race with the Navy. Recently, the Navy ran an strike group for its carrier group on biofuels for a day. The cost? A mere $12 million. That works out to $26 per gallon. This was part of the Great Green Fleet demonstration.
It was green, all right. Taxpayer green.
The Obama administration directed the Navy last year to work with the Agriculture and Energy departments to invest up to $510 million to help private industry partners develop a viable alternative energy market capable of producing cost-competitive marine and jet fuels.
This is an investment in the future.
Dan Nolan, a retired Army colonel, said biofuels were currently too expensive to purchase in operational quantities but it made sense to begin testing because “strategically if we can start moving toward that … it’s going to be worth every penny we invest in it now.”
In the free market, energy companies are searching for alternatives to oil-based fuels. The company that finds one will get very rich. The firms put their money into his research.
Why should anyone imagine that an extra half a billion dollars from the U.S. government will lead to the discovery of this breakthrough fuel?
The Air Force is not about to let the Navy get a head start. If the Navy can get the job done for $26 a gallon, then why not $59?