Here is the comment that JSV added to my post: New Republican Leader, Hilary’s Strategy for 2012, Nukes in Iran….”
Here’s a topic that I’ll be pursuing over the next year on a non-partisan approach to energy policy:
Theory: rack and stack the DoD budget. Take the “least valuable” $X billion/year. Look at what that same $50 billion/year could do in terms of domestic, renewable energy generation. Now weigh the “national security” value of that $X billion spent on defense vs. that $50 billion spent on domestic generation. Which provides more “national security” benefit? My theory is that, whether the value of X is 5, 50, or 200, the national security value of domestic generation will outweigh the value if spent in the DoD budget.
What are the bottom-of-the barrel DoD projects? As in, if we cut $50 billion/year from their budget, what goes? Talking to my friend who does financial analysis for the Air Force, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter project would be near the top of that list.
What are the top-of-the-heap ways to spend the money on domestic, renewable generation? My hunch is that feed-in-tariffs, tax credits for home/small business solar/wind/heat pumps/geothermal/improved insulation would be near the top of the list. $50 billion/year would allow 500,000 Americans each year to spend $100,000 on a solar PV system that would make them energy self-sufficient (and could charge their electric car/scooter). Or it would allow 500,000 Americans currently using home heating oil or natural gas heating to switch to a 100% renewable combination of solar/geothermal/heat pumps. The list goes on…
I think that phrasing domestic, renewable generation incentives in terms of national defense value per dollar COMPARED to the national defense value of that equivalent spending through the DoD is a very non-partisan way to move forward with sensible energy leglislation…
To help with this reallocation discussion, I thought the following would be helpful so we are all starting from the same spot. First is the FY2009 US Budget overview (to read this, it might help to go to View in your browser and increase the size of the text):
Next, also from the National Defense Budget Estimates for FY2009, is the summary of the DoD Budget:
One other note: Of the 2.1 million people employed by the DoD for FY2009, fully 33% of them are civilian employees.
Dig around and see if there is any fat in this budget that you think could be used for JSV’s suggestion and then post a comment here.