At the base rate, the U.S. military pays about the same as the rest of us for gasoline, under $3 a gallon. But the costs quickly escalate when you factor in the expenses related to getting fuel where it needs to go, and the often rugged, isolated places American forces need to use their vehicles.
According to an illuminating story by Eric Chemi on CNBC.com, the U.S. is:
… paying 100 times the price the rest of us are. The total cost of getting fuel where it needs to be is skyrocketing the cost for military gas. At a burn rate of 300,000 barrels of oil per day, the Department of Defense consumes 1.5 percent of total national consumption, and is the largest user of energy in America. As a result, it is the biggest proponent of clean energy. Even a total cost of $100 per gallon would be a steal for the military. That’s because its calculations on energy costs are very different than for a regular consumer.
It makes sense, therefore, that the U.S. Defense Department is far ahead the game when it comes to pursuing alternative fuel sources:
Some current projects include a way to produce localized energy on site, creating a mobile energy system and better integrating generators and batteries. There are dozens of projects already underway at military bases globally and multi-decade, long-term plans to find efficiency. Some of the projects include focusing on green power, renewable jet fuels and changing the culture around energy awareness in day-to-day operations.