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Department of Defense Energy Initiatives: Background and Issues for Congress

CRS – Department of Defense Energy Initiatives: Background and Issues for Congress, December 10, 2012

  • “The Department of Defense (DOD) spends billions of dollars per year on fuel, and is pursuing numerous initiatives for reducing its fuel needs and changing the mix of energy sources that it uses. DOD’s energy initiatives pose several potential oversight issues for Congress, and have been topics of discussion and debate at hearings on DOD’s proposed FY2013 budget. By some accounts, DOD is the largest organizational user of petroleum in the world. Even so, DOD’s share of total U.S. energy consumption is fairly small. DOD is by far the largest U.S. government user of energy. The amount of money that DOD spends on petroleum-based fuels is large in absolute terms, but relatively small as a percentage of DOD’s overall budget. DOD’s fuel costs have increased substantially over the last decade, to about $17 billion in FY2011. Petroleum-based liquid fuels are by far DOD’s largest source of energy, accounting for approximately two-thirds of DOD energy consumption. When DOD’s fuel use is divided by service, the Air Force is the largest user; when divided by platform type, aircraft are the largest user According to DOD, currently about 75% of DOD’s energy use is operational energy and about 25% is installation energy.”
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