It is no secret many conservatives, especially those committed to a strong national defense, believe that the Pentagon’s budget could be cut – if only Congress and the Obama administration would stop putting things that have nothing to do with protecting the nation in the defense budget.
This includes such projects such as the one recently announced by the Obama White House mandating that U.S. Army coordinate spending $7 billion with green energy firms to increase its use of renewable energy.
If “green energy" were cheaper, we would say “bravo” -- but it is not.
According to the green energy inclined New York Times, “Some experts not aligned with either camp estimate that wind power is currently more than 50 percent more expensive than power generated by a traditional coal plant. Built into the calculation is the need for utilities that rely heavily on wind power to build backup plants fired by natural gas to meet electricity demand when winds are calm.”
The NYT article then quoted a study showing that, “A modern coal plant of conventional design, without technology to capture carbon dioxide before it reaches the air, produces at about 7.8 cents a kilowatt-hour; a high-efficiency natural gas plant, 10.6 cents; and a new nuclear reactor, 10.8 cents. A wind plant in a favorable location would cost 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour. But if a utility relied on a great many wind machines, it would need to back them up with conventional generators in places where demand tends to peak on hot summer days with no breeze. That pushes the price up to just over 12 cents, making it more than 50 percent more expensive than a kilowatt-hour for coal.”
What’s more, green energy companies are remarkably unstable suppliers. A study by the Heritage Foundation found that 19 of the green energy companies that received loans or grants by the Obama administration have filed for bankruptcy or are in the process of doing so.
The Pentagon budget is chock full of politically motivated earmarks for projects the military says it doesn’t need, green energy and other boondoggles that actually raise the cost of defending the nation and the kind of revolving door crony capitalism that comes from insiders moving smoothly between offices in the E Ring and corner suites at the big defense contractors.
In the face of the upcoming cuts to national defense mandated by the "sequestration" that was part of the deal to raise the debt ceiling last summer, those in Congress who claim to support a strong national defense should start by cutting this politically motivated fat, rather than scaring the public by threatening to cut the resources the military needs to do the job the Constitution requires and on which the taxpayers want it to concentrate: defending the nation.