Thursday, June 16, 2011

DOEPP Deal Part 3: DOD Assessment of Services Budgets for Operational Energy

We wrote earlier about the long awaited report from the Assistant Secretary of the Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs (ASDOEPP) certifying the Services budgets as regards Operational Energy. As previously, mentioned all Service budgets were certified against their own strategies. The last post covered the Army's certification. The following is a synopsis of the findings by Component for the Navy, Marines and Air Force.

The Air Forces’ plan is different from the other Services in that they seek “other than Materiel solutions such as changes in Doctrine, Organization, Training, Leadership and Education, Personnel, and Facilities as the means to attain their goals. They are using techniques such as: optimizing aircraft centers of gravity, diplomatic cleared routing, European routing, and aircraft crew ratios which should provide $59M in savings in 2012. The use of simulators garners a whopping $368M. The USAF hopes to save a total of $494M over FY2012. A half a billion dollars in savings will turn heads, even in the Pentagon. What the Air Force knows is that the cheapest, cleanest, most secure electron is the one you don’t use.

As for their plan to purchase 50% of their domestic aviation fuel via alternative fuel blend at cost competitive rates, the only thing lacking is alternative fuel blend at cost competitive rates. If Solazyme or Amyris has to compete with Shell Aviation, Texaco or Chevron I am not sure of their chances. And if I am a big fuel provider, how much loss can I take before the other guy breaks? The Air Force has done a great job of certifying their aircraft, but getting alternative fuels that can compete on cost maybe a stretch. As long as all fuels are receiving subsidies, to include fossil fuels, the playing field is not level. Of course if the price of oil continues to go up, all bets are off!

The Air Force is green on Increasing Supply and Expeditionary Base Efforts. Reducing Demand gets a yellow rating due to challenges in monitoring and measuring efforts and work on improving legacy systems. Their budget for FY2012 is certified.

This annual report has the potential to provide a guiding hand for the Services in a way that is not intrusive or dictatorial. What is not clear is what would happen if a Service budget is not certified in accordance with a DoD strategy? If the forthcoming DoD Operational Energy strategy assigns responsibilities, and provides authorities (resources) then this report will serve as the accountability mechanism. If there is no penalty for failure to certify, then all they will have is hard feelings or a report that is all rosy. Neither outcome is useful. Dan Nolan

1 comment:

Brian Smith said...

It appears ASD OEPP, when certifying budgets, did not consider the transition potential of R&D programs. Without assessing that "tech transition risk", it's impossible to believe the services can actually execute on their energy security strategies.