News/Media / Politics / Science

Excuse me, $400 for a gallon of gas?

“Are you serious, $400 for a gallon of gas?!”

Between talking with a military contractor at a cocktail reception and reading the Economist of December 12th, this revealed little known fact is shocking.  $400 for a gallon of gas.  Who would pay this? And, why?  At first, the 1980s story of the military paying $400 or more for a toilet seat came to mind.  However, this is 2009 and it is $400 for each gallon of gas.  According to the article in the Economist, the US military establishment is paying $400 per gallon of gas for its activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Calculate that a humvee uses one gallon of gas to go four miles or the flip side – calculate a tank that uses four gallons of gas to go one mile, which will cost $1,600 to travel this one mile.  And, just to get into this game, according to this article, the British army uses “seven gallons of fuel to deliver one gallon of gas to Afghanistan”.

And, then the irony of the story, the military establishment is seeking ‘green’ energy efficient solutions to do their jobs. Perhaps the failure of diplomacy and the human cost of war will bring some benefit to society.  The $400 gallon of gas is bringing enlightenment to the most hardened of audiences and will eventually bring energy efficient solutions to the mainstream audience.  A tremendous cost to all, yet hopefully, this will be a great benefit to the next generation.

By Keri Douglas, writer/photographer, Washington, DC


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