Public Statement From Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn Regarding The Truman National Security Project Letter

March 25, 2009

Re: Letter to Governor Misrepresented My Views: LCFS and iLUC are critical to National Security

WASHINGTON, March 25 /PRNewswire/ — A letter recently delivered to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and Indirect Land Use Change (iLUC), signed by me and others concerned about national security, was well-intended. However, upon more careful research and reflection, I now believe the letter missed the mark. It was my understanding that the position represented by the letter would simply champion the rapidly growing biofuels industry against an effort by fossil fuel advocates to weaken the LCFS. While that may be true, the way in which we replace fossil fuel with biofuels must take into consideration how those biofuels are made, from what feedstocks, and the total impact they have, from “field to fuel tank”, on greenhouse gases. I have concluded that the LCFS and iLUC do that very well, and I support immediate implementation by the State of California. In fact, the development and implementation of similar standards should be accomplished at a national level.

From a national security perspective, it is critical that California and the federal government pass and implement strong regulations that discourage the use of high carbon fuels and encourage the investment, development and use of fuels with the lowest carbon intensities. The California Low Carbon Fuel Standard does just that. The inclusion of the iLUC ensures that the biofuels industry leverages new technology and moves to second generation biofuels, generated from feed stock materials other than food crops. Without this provision, there is a very real danger that fuel crops will increasingly replace food crops as well as displacing critically important carbon sinks such as rainforests. In other words, if we simply advocate widespread replacement of fossil fuels with biofuels, without consideration of the effect on climate change, we become victims of the law of unintended consequences; good intentions but poor overall results.

The nation’s highest ranking retired military leaders issued a report in 2007 that concluded climate change is a “threat multiplier”, and that energy security, climate change and national security are a related set of global challenges. We cannot solve one without addressing all three. Passing a low carbon fuel standard without an indirect land use provision is tantamount to shutting down the nascent industry of the low carbon intensity fuels we need to solve this problem. Let’s implement policies and standards that fully leverage emerging biofuel technology in order to create a win-win-win for national, energy and climate security. The LCFS and iLUC do just that.

SOURCE Vice Admiral Dennis V. McGinn

Source: newswire

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