« | »

AP: Military In Iraq Also Gouged By Big Oil

From a (perpetually) outraged Associated Press:

Vehicles of the 1st Battalion, 118th Field Artillery, Georgia National Guard, return to al-Asad Air Base, Iraq after a three-day mission guarding a convoy of fuel tankers through the western Iraqi desert.

Military feels fuel-cost gouge in Iraq

By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Think you’re being gouged by Big Oil? U.S. troops in Iraq are paying almost as much as Americans back home, despite burning fuel at staggering rates in a war to stabilize a country known for its oil reserves.

Military units pay an average of $3.23 a gallon for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, some $88 a day per service member in Iraq, according to an Associated Press review and interviews with defense officials. A penny or two increase in the price of fuel can add millions of dollars to U.S. costs.

Critics in Congress are fuming. The U.S., they say, is getting suckered as the cost of the war exceeds half a trillion dollars — $10.3 billion a month, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Some lawmakers say oil-rich allies in the Middle East should be doing more to subsidize fuel costs because of the stake they have in a secure Iraq. Others point to Iraq’s own burgeoning surplus as crude oil prices top $100 a barrel. Baghdad subsidies let Iraqis pay only about $1.36 a gallon.

The U.S. military, through its Defense Energy Support Center, buys fuel on the open market, paying from $1.99 a gallon to as much as $5.30 a gallon under contracts with private and government-owned oil companies. The center then sets a fixed rate for troops, currently $3.51 a gallon for diesel, $3.15 for gasoline, $3.04 for jet fuel and $13.61 for avgas, a high-octane fuel used mostly in unmanned aerial vehicles.

Kuwait does grant substantial subsidies, but they cover only about half the fuel used by the U.S. in Iraq. And the discount is eaten up by the Energy Support Center’s administrative costs and fluctuations in the market.

Overall, the military consumes about 1.2 million barrels, or more than 50 million gallons of fuel, each month in Iraq at an average $127.68 a barrel. That works out to about $153 million a month.

Historically, these figures are astounding. In World War II, the average fuel consumption per soldier or Marine was about 1.67 gallons a day; in Iraq, it’s 27.3 gallons, according to briefing slides prepared by a Pentagon task force established to review consumption…

[S]ome lawmakers say the U.S. is paying too much to secure an oil-rich nation that resides in a neighborhood swimming in the natural resource…

It’s unlikely the U.S. has pressed Saudi Arabia, Qatar or other oil-rich allies recently to help subsidize the cost of fuel in Iraq. The Defense Department referred questions about such negotiations to the State Department, where a spokesman said the agency was not aware of any.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., also a member of the Armed Services Committee and a vocal advocate pushing the military to pursue alternative energy solutions, said he doubts such talks would be fruitful anyway because of the impression by many in the Middle East that the U.S. invaded Iraq for its oil to begin with.

"I’m not sure they’re as convinced we’re fighting for them, as they were in the first Gulf war," Bartlett said…

In the meantime, other lawmakers say they want to see the high costs of the war defrayed by Iraq dipping into its own oil revenues, which are projected to be substantial. Independent auditors estimate that Iraq is headed this year toward a massive surplus because of as much as $60 billion in oil revenues — a consequence of increased production paired with the sharp rise in prices.

"It’s totally unacceptable to me that we are spending tens of billions of dollars on rebuilding Iraq while they are putting tens of billions of dollars in banks around the world from oil revenues," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee. "It doesn’t compute as far as I’m concerned."

How is this possible when we were assured by our media masters that this was was simply "blood for oil"?

Hell, even some (idiot) Republicans seem to believe that:

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., also a member of the Armed Services Committee and a vocal advocate pushing the military to pursue alternative energy solutions, said he doubts such talks would be fruitful anyway because of the impression by many in the Middle East that the U.S. invaded Iraq for its oil to begin with.

It looks like we have been lied to.

"It’s totally unacceptable to me that we are spending tens of billions of dollars on rebuilding Iraq while they are putting tens of billions of dollars in banks around the world from oil revenues," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee. "It doesn’t compute as far as I’m concerned."

Of course Mr. Levin would be the first to scream "blood for oil!"

As he most certainly has done in the past.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

27 Responses to “AP: Military In Iraq Also Gouged By Big Oil”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.


« Front Page | To Top
« | »