Fossil Fuels Still Dominate Security and Defense Needs

That’s why climate policies can seriously harm our defense, economic and security needs

Don Ritter

President Joe Biden says climate change is the greatest threat faced by our country, and the world. It’s a greater threat than nuclear war,  he insists.

Ironically, the proposed “solution” of eliminating essential fossil fuels to mitigate climate change actually increases greenhouse gas emissions and toxic air and water pollution – by requiring that we mine and process up to fourteen times more raw materials per megawatt for wind turbines and electric vehicle or backup batteries than would be required for natural gas-based electricity generation.

Worse, most of that mining, processing and manufacturing would be done overseas – almost all of it using fossil fuels – in countries that have few or no laws for pollution control, wildlife habitat and endangered species protection, land reclamation, child and slave labor, fair wages or other values we hold dear.

Eliminating fossil fuels also reduces our ability to protect our homeland, prevent nuclear war and project Peace Through Strength worldwide. Further, it profoundly weakens America, by creating an imminent crisis for our economy and our military, the two main pillars of a nation’s power.

Fossil fuels are the lifeblood of American military power and serve numerous purposes.

Every iota of military equipment needs fossil fuels to manufacture it, and to run it: from fossil fuel-derived petrochemicals to make thousands of plastic components for infinite uses; to mining and processing minerals into thousands of steel and aluminum alloys for trucks, tanks, guns, aircraft and artillery; to copper and non-ferrous metals for wiring and shell casings; to processing minerals and chemicals into gunpowder and other explosives – to creating and powering the semiconductor chips for increasingly energy-hungry electronic equipment that is part and parcel of all modern weaponry; to producing and shipping food for members of our Armed Services all over the world; to manufacturing pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to save lives and bring wounded warriors back to health.

Fossil fuels are essential for just about everything the military needs, from nuclear weapons to toilet paper!

This war on fossil fuels is happening at the same time the Biden Administration and Democrat supporters in Congress are spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on deficit-increasing, investment-directing, market-skewing solar, wind, battery-storage, biofuel and other Green Energy schemes.

Given the overwhelming dependence of our military on fossil fuels, this diversion of investments away from fossil fuels will wreak havoc on America’s readiness and defense industrial base.

Where does the lion’s share of raw materials for wind turbines, solar panels, batteries – and the high-tech equipment to produce these and military items – come from? China, and China-invested or China-run African, Asian and Latin American mines that are notorious for child labor, horrendous working conditions, and virtually no concern for the environment or human lives.

America has bounteous oil, gas and coal at home. It lacks the critical materials that go into wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and weapons only because we have made most American mineralized and mining areas off limits – and the administration has rejected almost every proposed mining project it’s seen.

While the push for renewables may be popular in politics, it is problematic in practice. Reliance on our adversaries is highly detrimental to our national security, economy and very existence.

America will be forced to import vital materials from insecure, adversarial nations, such as China, making us dangerously and unnecessarily dependent on foreign sources. China has the technologies (often stolen from the West) and the materials for dominating both “renewables” – solar, wind and battery industries – and defense needs. The harsh reality is that China is totally dominant in renewable energy industries right now. By “going green,” our dependence on China will only increase

Moreover, their electric grid is powered largely by fossil fuels, and thus is set up to back up wind and solar when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. Meanwhile, ours grid is becoming less reliable as we retire fossil fuel plants. Just think of the freezing of windmills in Texas in the dead of winter, and California’s ultra-green government asking EV owners not to charge their vehicles because doing so could cause widespread blackouts! 

Add Russia as China’s oil and gas station, plus raw materials supplier, and China makes a dramatic leap in both military and economic capabilities. Sino-Russian collaboration could well become the globally dominant force over a fossil fuel-disarming America and West.

Indeed, Russia acting alone is able to invade a large, sovereign European nation – even though Russia’s economy is smaller than Italy’s, a mere 3% of the USA plus Europe. How is that possible?

Because Russia has, produces, uses and sells oil, gas and coal, giving it energy dominance now and into the future. Russia’s war on Ukraine is being paid for by its fossil fuel revenues. And, while energy-weakened Europe reopens a headline-grabbing 27 mothballed coal plants to make up for the lost natural gas from Russia, it still bans fracking for oil and gas, and prays for warm winters.

In the meantime, China is building at least 27 new coal plants every year.

Common sense dictates that America reverse its climate-obsessed anti-fossil-fuel policies, and pursue a future that is “all-of-the-above” energy to ensure economic, technological and national security reality – where all-of-the-above means energy that doesn’t require massive federal and state government subsidies; energy that isn’t weather dependent; energy that is abundant, reliable and affordable every hour of every day, year after year.

Anything less betrays not only our men and women defenders in our Armed Forces, but all of us.

Don Ritter holds a Science Doctorate from MIT and served fourteen years on the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce and Science and Technology Committees. After leaving Congress he created and led the National Environmental Policy Institute.

He was a National Academy of Sciences Fellow in the USSR, speaks fluent Russian, and was Ranking Member on the Congressional Helsinki Commission and founding Co-Chair of the Baltic States-Ukraine Caucus. He is a Trustee of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and Museum, and Co-chairs its Capital Campaign.

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Frank from NoVA
March 31, 2023 10:16 am

A very common sense article that is certain to fall on the deaf ears of those who are rapidly reducing the US to the status of a banana republic, and quite possibly, setting the stage for the advent of one or more disastrous wars within the remaining span of our lives.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 31, 2023 10:59 am

DJT back in 2024 will put the end to the nonsense.

Reply to  vuk
March 31, 2023 5:37 pm

There’s no voting our way out of this situation.

James Snook
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
March 31, 2023 11:25 am

The virtue signalling destructive stupidity of it all is mind blowing.

When “The decline and fall of the West” is written by historians a Millenium from now the messianic drive to self destruct will be too incredible for them to grasp.

They will however deduce that it was driven by some strange religious fervour because the archeologists would have found countless acres of rusting hollow steel stumps set out in a regular pattern like a linear stonehenge.

Ron Long
March 31, 2023 10:26 am

So, Don, I’m getting the idea that us fighting in electric tanks (ET’s?) against the diesel powered variety won’t turn out OK?

Richard M
Reply to  Ron Long
March 31, 2023 10:32 am

You just need a very long cord.

Last edited 2 months ago by Richard M
More Soylent Green!
Reply to  Ron Long
March 31, 2023 10:41 am

Imagine the battery life in cold weather. You’d need a fossil fuel powered heater to keep the batteries warm up.

Or imagine the effect of a lithium battery being shot with an armory piercing shell?

Last edited 2 months ago by More Soylent Green!
Reply to  Ron Long
March 31, 2023 10:50 am

Especially when bullets hit the batteries…

Gunga Din
Reply to  Ron Long
March 31, 2023 12:39 pm

Maybe we can just drop our EV tanks on the enemy?
Who needs a MOAB!

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Ron Long
April 1, 2023 9:08 am

It’s alright. Just negotiate a gentleman’s agreement for a cease fire at 3pm every day so you can retreat to base and plug in your vehicles 🙂

More Soylent Green!
March 31, 2023 10:40 am

Yes, but the pollution and environmental destruction happens somewhere else. What’s important is climate change evangelists can feel superior for believing the right things.

Reply to  More Soylent Green!
March 31, 2023 11:14 am

Yes, but“: answering who/what?

March 31, 2023 10:55 am

They will first have to fight their way out of California before starting to defend anyone and do their job.

story tip

California requires half of heavy trucks sales to be electric by 2035 (

Rud Istvan
Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 31, 2023 11:20 am

Another foolish CA regulation that will not happen because it is physically impossible. A class 8 80000# GVW electric truck would be mostly battery and little cargo, so useless.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 31, 2023 12:20 pm

I remember seeing an EU analysis stating that a net payload ratio for electric long distance trucks would be significantly lower than for the hydrogen powered ones (and by implication diesel, although such comparison was omitted).

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 31, 2023 12:30 pm

Get out of Califronia now, while the getting is good.

The California command economy is going to crash and burn.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 31, 2023 5:43 pm

Yes, before the large moving trucks are banned also.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 2, 2023 5:06 am

I think California already bans diesel trucks that are older than the 2010 models, and they are getting ready to place even more restrictions on new diesel engines. They are driving the independent truckers out of business.

California is definitely an Idiocracy. The Idiot running California wants to run the United States next. What an ego!

March 31, 2023 11:12 am

Add … raw materials supplier, … leap in both military and economic capabilities

Valid logic in 2023?

March 31, 2023 11:43 am

“Sino-Russian collaboration could well become the globally dominant force over a fossil fuel-disarming America and West.”

China has been rapidly modernizing its military and investing in advanced technologies such as hypersonic missiles, stealth fighters, and aircraft carriers. It also has the world’s largest standing army and a growing network of overseas bases.
It’s not only Russian resources China is interested in.
China’s resource exploitation in third world countries is part of its larger strategy to increase its global influence and political dominance.
It is possible that China’s resource exploitation could limit or deny the United States’ access to those resources.
China has been investing heavily in natural resource projects in third world countries in recent years, particularly in Africa and Latin America. This has led to concerns about China’s growing influence in these regions and the potential impact on resource access for other countries, including the United States.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  vuk
March 31, 2023 12:31 pm

“Africa and Latin America”

Yuh, but those regions have a lot of experience at kicking out ruthless imperialists so China will have to play nice.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  vuk
March 31, 2023 12:32 pm

Meanwhile, leaders in the Western world are asleep at the switch.

The Chicoms are finding their path to world domination is paved with Western stupidity. The Chicoms are delighted.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 31, 2023 12:57 pm

They are laughing all the way to the bank not only don’t have to compete any longer with the EU for Russian oil, but they are getting it with heavy discount, often paid in truck loads of the obsolete old Soviet made cannon shells.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 31, 2023 1:48 pm

Ah, yes, but the Americans are always right even when they are wrong.
We have to thank Benjamin Franklin that almost all of our modern physics is of wrong sign.
When he was rubbing piece of cloth on glass rod he got stronger shock from glass rod than the cloth (difference in electrons conductivity), so he declared that charges on the rod are positive since they moved from the rod to his fingers in much greater numbers.
Actually moving charges were electrons going from his body and neutralising ions/atoms on the glass.
Thus we are stuck forever with the wrong concept that electrons and electric currents are moving in opposite directions.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  vuk
April 2, 2023 5:09 am

Sorry about that. 🙂

Reply to  vuk
March 31, 2023 8:52 pm

Forming a Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere?

Reply to  vuk
April 1, 2023 3:43 pm

Also unlike Putin’s play pretend modern military (like the ultra survivable modern T 14 – where is it?), China may be able to actually make stuff that works.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  niceguy12345
April 2, 2023 5:11 am

“China may be able to actually make stuff that works.”

The Chicoms are very good at copying things.

And why do original research when it is so easy to steal the research of others? Cheaper, too.

March 31, 2023 11:56 am

Many French people are fed up with US imperialism, whatever that is.
I’m sure they will enjoy Russian and Chinese imperialism.

Reply to  niceguy12345
March 31, 2023 12:12 pm

My palate is too unsophisticated to answer this question.

Which good cheese pairs nicely with vodka?

Reply to  pillageidiot
April 1, 2023 3:46 pm

Several year ago France applied “sanctions” against Russia to punish Putin; the sanctions consisted of stopping agriculture and cheese exports to Russia.

Only our French producers were hurt.
Russians learnt to produce more food.

For all these years, the French populace was kept in the dark regarding the night vision tech that France was exporting to Russian arms industry.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  niceguy12345
March 31, 2023 12:31 pm

I think they miss Napoleon.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
April 1, 2023 3:51 pm

The French nationalist parties adore the man who

  • enslaved French women to their father/husbands (French bribes relatively recently got the right to open a bank account without the husband permission) with “le code civil Napoléon”
  • tried to enslave Europe, destroying a generation and sending France to poverty

That’s because French people have almost zero economic or philosophy of law culture, and almost no understanding of history.

So Putin is admired in France. A whole lot.

I’m not putting American citizens on a pedestal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they scored better at history of ideas knowledge than the French (outside Californication and similar braindead areas).

Reply to  niceguy12345
April 2, 2023 10:24 am

The French have a far more developed study of politics and history than Americans. Even today there’s been no better analysis of US political dynamics than that of Alexis de Toqueville in 1848.

Reply to  niceguy12345
March 31, 2023 5:44 pm

They are great negotiators and deal makers as seen during and just after WW2.

Joseph Zorzin
March 31, 2023 12:28 pm

“Common sense dictates that America reverse its climate-obsessed anti-fossil-fuel policies, and pursue a future that is “all-of-the-above” energy to ensure economic, technological and national security reality…”

“We can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future – an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy.”– President Barack Obama, March 15, 2012

Tom Abbott
March 31, 2023 12:36 pm

Only a fool would think we can get along without hydrocarbons.

It’s not possible.

It’s not going to happen.

If fools try to force it, bad things will happen.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
March 31, 2023 6:08 pm

I disagree, if you are implying that the ‘populace’ will cause “bad things to happen”. There have been SO MANY instances where “bad things” SHOULD have happened, and nothing did. The ‘populace’ is far too comfortable, and will not even BE AWARE of what is happening.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  sturmudgeon
April 1, 2023 9:14 am

When they try to take away their plastic mobile phones the outrage will be uncontained.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  sturmudgeon
April 2, 2023 5:13 am

The bad things I was referring to would be bad economic outcomes.

Although, it if got bad enough, I suppose there would be social unrest.

March 31, 2023 12:52 pm

It goes without saying that Biden and all his Democrat, liberal and progressive followers can suck eggs. Nothing should stand in the way of us building and keeping a strong and efficient military. We are far too easy on them, we have to call them out for evil mindless blobs that they are. To many of us don’t want to appear angry or uncivil towards them. I disagree, we need to let them know in the strongest terms possible that they don’t know what they are talking about, they are lying to us, they are cheating us and it has to stop now.

Reply to  Bob
March 31, 2023 3:29 pm

We…. us…. Listen to strangers, in person.

Reply to  Bob
March 31, 2023 6:09 pm

It Won’t.

April 2, 2023 10:33 am

” to producing and shipping food for members of our Armed Services all over the world”
Yes, we need our men stationed everywhere to keep the American dream of universal democracy alive.

April 2, 2023 1:18 pm

Unless we have Nuclear powered vehicles, Hydrocarbons aka FossilFuels are required for everything a Modern Sophisticated Society requires, even to build Nuclear Fission plants (Fusion is always a decades away, and suspect unachievable) & dare I say so called ‘Renewable’ Sun & Wind; of course Sunshine & Breezes are renewable, but the extraction process of the WeakEnergy is certainly not, from mining, muster, build, maintenance, support to final Decommissioning & LandFill of said Turbines & Panels, most politicans seem blind to this reality.

FossilFuels are the glue of society.

Anyway we are led by Donkeys!

P.S. I’ve long had the thought that V.Putin & Xi “PingPong” has been funding all the NonScience in the West to weaken us which is certainly what the Green madness of especially UK Parliment are displaying.

Last edited 2 months ago by Stargrazzer
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