This is the week we show our respect and gratitude to veterans for their service to our country. But that sentiment doesn’t have to be reserved just for Veterans Day.
Another way to thank vets, every day, would be to lessen our reliance on the one commodity that has been the source of so much conflict for the past century: oil.
Reducing our consumption of oil and gasoline in favor of cheaper, cleaner, American-made fuels like ethanol, methanol and natural gas is good for the country’s security, not just that of the men and women dispatched to faraway places to protect the free flow of oil to the international market.
“If we could get away from sending our sailors and airmen and soldiers to go defend somebody else’s oil fields … you can’t even put a price tag on that,” Marc Rauch, executive vice president and co-editor of The Auto Channel, says in the 2014 documentary PUMP.
Here’s the clip:
The U.S. must import about 40 percent of the oil it consumes every day for transportation, and about half the imports come from OPEC member nations. One of those is Iraq, which supplied the U.S. with 756,000 barrels of oil a day in July, nearly as much as Saudi Arabia (795,000) did. The U.S. still has a military presence in Iraq, and tensions in the northern part of the country escalated when Iraq seized oil fields in Kurdistan.
Instability anywhere oil is produced sends shockwaves through the market and threatens to only worsen U.S. dependence.
The best way to curtail the power and influence OPEC enjoys, and keep our troops safe is to keep oil prices permanently low. And the only way to do that is to displace a portion of it with alternative fuels for cars, trucks and SUVs.
John Hofmeister, the former president of Shell Oil and current member of Fuel Freedom’s board of advisors and directors, said in 2016:
“There remains an interdependence, until the U.S. can find independence, and it has every right and every responsibility to pursue independence. As does every other nation.”
Until we can reduce our habit in a major way, U.S. forces will still be needed to keep the worldwide supply of oil flowing.