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October 08, 2011

Old and Busted: Olive Drab
The New Hotness: Green

You had to know this would happen eventually. First, taxpayers' money is being shoveled at "green" projects left and right. Second, the DoD has a metric shitload of said taxpayers' money. So what's a good leftist SCOAMF commander-in-chief to do but go green on the DoD's dime?

The Army is embarking on an ambitious mission to house billions of dollars worth of renewable energy projects on bases across the country -- in exchange for a share of that energy sometime in the future.

"Sometime in the future", eh? Hasn't the pipe dream of clean, renewable energy always been just over the horizon?

So here's the plan:

Under the plan, the Army hopes to attract more than $7 billion in private investment over 10 years. Those companies would be allowed to use the Army's abundant real estate to build up alternative-energy operations ranging from solar to wind to geothermal. In exchange, the Army would be looking for some kind of "in-kind" payment down the road. That means the companies would be expected to give the Army their energy for free or at a reduced price once the operations are up and running.

How does this work exactly? Most of the cost of these operations is in the equipment - wind turbines, solar panels, electrical transmission infrastructure and the like. The ground rent is usually pretty negligible.

So why would a private developer build the thing just to give the energy to the Army? If this is really what they're hell bent on doing, wouldn't they be better off to just contract with a developer and build a wind farm or whatever that DoD just owns? (bear with me - I'm not saying this is a good idea at all, but it's being made even worse in the execution)

And rather than pissing away boatloads of taxpayer dollars by going all-in on this, can we maybe set one up as a pilot somewhere first? Nah ... that's crazy talk. We'll just assume everything's going to work out just fine and commit billions (see, e.g., Solyndra).

And then there's this:

The project is part of a broader Army goal to use 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. By trading real estate for energy, Hammack said the project will also contribute to the military's energy security -- by ensuring military bases have their own supply of renewable energy no matter what's going on outside the fences. (emphasis added)

ORLY? No matter what's going on outside the fences, if nighttime or still air is going on inside of them ... which tends to happen a lot ... , how does that "energy security" work again?

Shouldn't the new slogan really be: Intermittent Army by 2025 - we'll kick your ass when the wind is blowing!

These. People. Are. Delusional.


Battlefield 2025, courtesy DoD.

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