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Sunday, April 10, 2005

High Cost of Gasoline

As you fork over more money for gas at the pump, here are some numbers to ponder. They relate directly to why gas costs more. (All from the May 2005, Atlantic Monthly)

1. U.S. troops in Iraq are consuming more than 1.7 million gallons of fuel a day.

2. Each of the ground soldiers requires nine gallons per day to keep all the electrical devices and vehicles going.

3. All the fuel as to be convoyed in, making them especially rich targets for insurgents. Convoys are getting more armored, but that leads to a need for more fuel because an armored vehicle weighs much more and requires much more fuel, which requires more tankers, which offer more targets, which requires more armor and support, etc., etc.

4. Fuel is crucial for modern warfare: Patton's Third Army had 400,000 troops and used about 400,000 gallons per day in his charge across France in 1944. He ran out of fuel and had to stop. Today's army uses four times that amount per soldier. Rommel was stymied in North Africa because his tanks ran out of fuel.

5. The Pentagon has purchased weapons with little regard to fuel efficiency; thus, today 70% of supplies that have to be moved to the front consists of fuel. The number used to be 30%. The M1 tank gets less than 1/3 mile to the gallon; the Bradley fighting vehicle, less than 2 mpg.
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