Fossil Fuels Are Good for U.S. National Security, New Study Reports

Published March 20, 2019

A new study, “Global Warming Energy Restrictions Threaten U.S. National Security,” shows climate change is not a danger to U.S. national security.

The use of fossil fuels benefits the United States and its national security, states the report, published by The Heartland Institute, which also publishes Environment & Climate News. On the other hand, laws and regulations proposed to fight climate change, such as federal and state restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions, carbon dioxide taxes, and subsidies for select renewable energy technologies, endanger national security, the report states.

Benefits from Warming Found

Large increases in crop yields, which have provided the United States with unparalleled food security, are a result of modest warming since the late nineteenth century, the study finds.

The United States has more combined coal, natural gas, and oil resources than any other nation in the world, the report notes. This energy dominance provides the nation with economic advantages, increased international leverage, a greater ability to help our allies economically and militarily, and expanded military power.

The study notes energy costs largely determine economic performance, including the development of technological innovations, all of which enhances military and diplomatic power. Because every proposal to fight climate change would increase energy costs and reduce its reliability, implementing these policies would make the United States more vulnerable economically, geopolitically, and militarily, especially to global competitors such as China and Russia, the study reports.

Says Warming Reduces Threats

Global warming alarmists are wrong to claim climate change increases global tensions through bad weather and drought, says James Taylor, a senior fellow with The Heartland Institute and author of the report.

“Alarmists frequently assert global warming is a threat multiplier because it will cause crop failures, droughts, and extreme weather events that exacerbate political and military tensions,” said Taylor. “However, the science clearly shows as our planet has warmed, crop yields regularly set records nearly every year, and there has been no increase in droughts, or hurricanes, or any other extreme weather or climate events.

“To the extent global warming is impacting threat multipliers, it is reducing geopolitical and economic threats,” Taylor said.

Cure Worse Than Disease?

Climate regulations restricting fossil fuel use or raising energy prices undermine the U.S. economy and national security, says Taylor.

“A strong economy is absolutely necessary to fund and support a powerful military,” said Taylor. “By imposing expensive, economy-killing energy sources on America, global warming alarmists would severely undercut national security.

“Economic prosperity is important to sustaining a military able to combat threats to Americans,” Taylor said.

To enhance national security, Taylor writes, policymakers should (1) encourage greater production of U.S. domestic conventional energy resources, (2) encourage optimal use of domestic conventional energy resources in the American economy, (3) support more U.S. conventional energy exports, and (4) resist calls to impose carbon dioxide restrictions on the economy.

Linnea Lueken ([email protected]) writes from South Carolina.

Internet Info

James Taylor, “Global Warming Energy Restrictions Threaten U.S. National Security,” The Heartland Institute, March 5, 2019: