It appears that the political hype surrounding alternative fuels is based more on wishful thinking than facts. RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research group, recently released a study that concludes alternative fuels do not benefit the military. As reported by The New York Times, the study resulted from a directive in the 2009 Defense Authorization Act calling for further study of alternative fuels in military vehicles and aircraft.
The report could not come at a worse time for the Obama administration, which has been pumping billions of dollars into alternative fuels research and production. In his recent State of the Union address President Barack Obama once again touted alternative fuels and green energy as a path to renewed economic prosperity in America.
The RAND report concludes that from a technical standpoint a number of alternative fuels can meet military requirements, but questions the cost of the fuels and what effect they have on the environment — particularly greenhouse gases. The authors found that the prospects for appreciable amounts of alternative energy suitable for military applications within the next decade are highly uncertain.
Supporters of alternative energy will argue that even if there is no solution for the military, it is sure to work for domestic energy needs. Even with a ballooning national debt the federal government continues to spend billions of tax payer dollars with an unwavering faith in alternative energy. Evidence from Europe, however, shows that alternative energy mandates and subsidies kill more jobs than they create.
Michigan’s elected leaders should not follow the blind faith of federal officials, which resembles religious zeal, in alternative energy as the economic savior. Instead, the Michigan Legislature should repeal the 10 percent alternative energy requirement, which is killing jobs in the state.
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